SpaceX relaunches the final Falcon 9 rocket design

07 August, 2018, 16:22 | Author: Sherry Houston
  • A commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station blasted off aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in April.                  NASA

This was the first time that SpaceX reused one of its new powerful Block 5 boosters - the final upgrade of the Falcon 9 that is supposed to be able to go to space and back for 100 times.

SpaceX hasn't gone into detail about how hard it was to get the used Block 5 ready for reuse but SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk made Twitter comments last month that hinted it isn't an easy process.

SpaceX launched the first previously-flown "block 5" version of its Falcon 9 rocket early Tuesday, sending an Indonesian communications satellite into space and successfully recovering the first stage booster with a pinpoint landing on an offshore droneship. The first stage successfully landed on the drone ship Of Course I Still Love You, which was waiting in position in the Atlantic Ocean (a camera feed loss at the moment of landing created a bit of extra drama). With Tuesday's flight, SpaceX's record stands at at 60 successful Falcon 9 launches, with 28 successful booster recoveries, 12 on land and 16 on droneships.

Update 1:50 AM ET: Merah Putih is in position.

SSL completed construction of the Merah Putih satellite ahead of schedule, according to Telkom Indonesia, also known as PT Telkom. But Telkom 1's failure previous year forced the operator to re-route communications traffic through other satellites. Its primary goal is to launch a 5.8-ton satellite called Merah Putih meant to improve telecommunications in Indonesia, India, and much of Southeast Asia.

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Authorizations will also be revoked for the import of Iranian-origin carpets and foodstuff and the export of commercial aircraft. He said Iran had "always welcomed negotiations" but that Washington would first have to demonstrate it can be trusted.

SpaceX had used Falcon 9 in May to send up a large communications satellite for Bangladesh from Florida.

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.

Merah Putih will be located at 108 degrees east longitude.

The two-hour launch window opens on Tuesday, August 7 at 1:18 a.m. EDT, or 5:18 UTC. Another predawn Falcon 9 flight from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on July 25 delivered 10 Iridium voice and data relay payloads to orbit.

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