The launch and landing kicked off a new chapter in SpaceX's quest to increase rocket reusability and reduce the cost of access to space. The name refers to the red and while colors of Indonesia's flag.
The 60-transponder, all C-band satellite separated from the rocket's upper stage nearly 32 minutes later. The company's billionaire founder, Elon Musk, said engineers are also working on ways to recover the Falcon 9's second stage.
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. Rather, it really is the case that the first Block 5 reuse is one of the most important things ever done by SpaceX.
The first stage powered the vehicle out of the dense lower atmosphere, shutting down as planned about two-and-a-half-minutes after liftoff. Now they are made out of titanium, so they won't catch fire on the way back to Earth. The space exploration company successfully flew a used booster for the first time back in March 2017.
Satelit Merah Putih, previously known as Telkom 4, has 60 transponders, 24 of which will be dedicated to customers in Southeast and South Asian countries.
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Officials from Telkom Indonesia expected the Telkom 1 satellite, which launched in 1999, to remain operational until Merah Putih's launch.
Seconds before touchdown, four legs deployed and the rocket settled to an on-target landing. The Block 5 had its initial launch on May 11.
The first stage landed right about the same time the second stage engine shut down after reaching the planned preliminary "parking" orbit.
The turnaround between the Bangabandhu 1 and Merah Putih missions did not set a record for the shortest time between flights of the same Falcon 9 first stage. The spacecraft will be positioned in geostationary orbit more than 22,000 miles (nearly 36,000 kilometers) over the equator at 108 degrees east longitude. The satellite will provide Internet, telephone and cellular backhaul services, according to SSL.
Next up for SpaceX is launch of Telesat's Telstar 18 VANTAGE communications station from Cape Canaveral around August 17, following by launch of an Earth-observation satellite for Argentina.