SpaceX's brand new, recyclable Falcon 9 rocket launches again

News					SpaceX nails first reuse of its next-gen Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket

Not so for SpaceX, which Monday relaunched and retrieved its block 5 Falcon 9 rocket for the first time.

The landing was the second for this particular first stage, which also pulled one off on May 11 during the first-ever flight of a Block 5 Falcon 9.

This is not the first time SpaceX has successfully relaunched one of its rockets, but it is the first time that the uber-reusable "block 5" rocket blasted off.

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.

A two-hour backup launch window opens on Wednesday, August 8 at 1:18 a.m. EDT Falcon 9's first stage for the Merah Putih mission previously supported the Bangabandhu Satellite-1 mission in May 2018. The number "3" may not immediately feel significant, but in the case of Falcon 9, the third reuse of a booster has always remained out of reach for older versions of the rocket, walled off by the exponentially greater cost and effort required to refurbish non-Block 5 rockets after their first reuse. "This rocket probably won't refly for probably a couple of months, but by late this year we should be seeing substantial reflight of Block 5 vehicles, probably with Block 5 boosters seeing their third, maybe their fourth reflight".

Merah Putih "will carry an all C-band payload capable of supporting a wide range of applications, including providing mobile broadband across Indonesia and Southeast Asia". The new satellite will replace Telkom 1, which failed in a mysterious debris-shedding event in geostationary orbit past year.

Merah Putih will be located at 108 degrees east longitude.

Merah Putih's on-board engine will circularize its orbit over the equator in the coming weeks.

"Satellite plays a vital role in our telecommunications infrastructure", said Zulhelfi Abidin, chief technology officer of Telkom Indonesia, in a press release earlier this year. "SSL has been an excellent spacecraft supplier and has completed the satellite construction ahead of schedule".

Launch coverage can be seen on Space Coast Daily TV. That flight is scheduled for launch next month from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The new satellite will service Indonesia and Southeast Asia.

APT Satellite of Hong Kong has an agreement to use capacity on Telstar 18 VANTAGE, which is also known as Apstar 5C.

The mission got underway at 1:18 a.m. EDT (GMT-4) when the Falcon 9's nine Merlin 1D engines ignited and throttled up to full thrust, producing a brilliant plume of fiery exhaust that instantly turned cooling water into billowing clouds of steam.

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