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

It was successfully recovered and spruced up for tonight's rerun of the GTO launch profile.

SpaceX on Tuesday successfully re-launched its used Block 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, deploying the Indonesian Merah Putih satellite in the orbit just over half an hour later.

Formerly designated Telkom-4, the satellite renamed Merah Putih - representing the Indonesian flag's red and white colors - will replace the Telkom-1 spacecraft launched in 1999.

SpaceX is aiming for another commercial satellite launch from the Cape later this month - potentially its fourth launch in as many weeks.

Falcon 9's first stage was also recovered on the "Of Course I Still Love You" droneship, which is located in the Atlantic Ocean.

The company aims for the Block 5 rocket to be used as many as 10 or more times in a row, with little or no maintenance between launches.

A Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket lifts off from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Complex 40 launch pad in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Aug. 7, 2018. After the vehicle landed on one of SpaceX's drone ships on completion of its flight, the company did its inspection and refurbishment over the last three months to get it ready for flight again. The space exploration company successfully flew a used booster for the first time back in March 2017.

Just by looking at the massive reduction in time, we can assume SpaceX has been working on the reusability of the blocks with good success.

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. Built by Lockheed Martin, the satellite was 18 years old, operating three years past its design life.

Merah Putih will be located at 108 degrees east longitude.

"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. After extensive testing and checkout, the satellite will be put into service.

In December 2015, the Falcon 9 rocket achieved the first ever orbital class rocket landing after returning from delivering 11 communications satellites and this year, it launched Falcon Heavy, the heaviest rocket in use.

A flight readiness review Monday approved the continuation of final launch preps for Parker Solar Probe, which will fly closer to the sun than any previous mission.

A 65-minute launch window opens up at 3:33 a.m. on Saturday.

Vanessa Coleman

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