Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched from Cape Canaveral

A commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station blasted off aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in April.                  NASA A commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station blasted off aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in April. NASA
Doris Mccormick | 07 August, 2018, 20:26

It's also the first re-flight of the company's new, recyclable Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket, which had its first launch back in May.

The reusable stage one booster touched down on the droneship "Of Course I Still Love You" approximately nine minutes after launch.

The satellite will provide C-band telecommunications services over Indonesia and India, replacing the aging Telkom 1 communications craft, according to SpaceFlight Now. The spacecraft - whose name translates as "red and white", a reference to the colors of the Indonesian flag - will become part of the network run by PT Telkom Indonesia, the nation's largest telecommunications provider.

At 1:18 a.m. from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Falcon 9 rocket roared off launch pad 40.

A view of Falcon 9 B1046.2's first stage engine plume expanding as the rocket reaches thinner air.

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SpaceX was expected to conduct more invasive and time-consuming inspections on the first returned Block 5 booster, and three months after its first launch, the stage is ready to go again. Yes, the first stage was just used in a launch back in May that sent Bangladeshi communications satellite Bangabandhu into orbit.

They say "third times a charm", but that expression is usually reserved for success after failure. Uncrewed tests of the full human-rated launch system still have to be completed, but each successful Block 5 launch gives NASA (and SpaceX) greater confidence. This was SpaceX's 15th launch so far this year and its 60th of a Falcon 9 rocket.

The first-stage booster previously soared in May, the first time out the gate for this upgraded rocket. The Merah Putih satellite is ready to be deployed.

After a final lightning-fast series of computer checks, the 229-foot-tall rocket was released from pad 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, quickly accelerating skyward atop 1.7 million pounds of thrust. "Ironically, we need to take it apart to confirm it does not need to be taken apart".

SpaceX's next mission is set for launch no earlier than August 23 with the Telstar 18 VANTAGE communications satellite to provide broadcast, enterprise and government communications services over parts of India, China, Mongolia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Ocean region.

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