SpaceX relaunches the final Falcon 9 rocket design

09 August, 2018, 08:40 | Author: Jacqueline Daniels
  • SpaceX Re-Launches 'Block 5' Rocket for 1st Time, Nails Landing Again

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.

SpaceX sent Indonesia's Merah Putih telecommunications satellite into orbit tonight, marking the first reuse of its new-generation Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket booster. Just nine minutes later, the rocket's first stage made a successful landing on the "Of course I still love you' drone ship aba coast, according to CNBC".

If successful, that innovation over time promises to lower the cost of launches that SpaceX now advertises online for $62 million.

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The Merlin upper stage engine reignited for a almost minute-long firing at 1:44 a.m. EDT (0544 GMT), giving the Merah Putih satellite enough velocity to climb into a geostationary transfer orbit with a low point a few hundred miles above Earth, and a high point expected to reach tens of thousands of miles in altitude. Merah Putih translates into "red and white" and is a reference to the colors on Indonesia's national flag. "The satellite is expected to have a service lifetime of 15 or more years", SpaceX representatives wrote in a mission description.

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. SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk has advertised the Falcon 9 Block 5 as "the most reliable rocket ever built".

Musk has said Block 5 will be the last major iteration for the Falcon 9.

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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. 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 Merah Putih satellite then was released into an elliptical transfer orbit, the normal first step in getting a communications satellite into its intended orbit 22,300 miles above the equator. After 18 years of service, beyond it design life, Telkom-1 suffered a fuel leak a year ago and began to break apart in orbit, disrupting services.

SpaceX is planning around 30 missions in 2018, up from a record of 18 in 2017.

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