Published: Tue, August 07, 2018
Research | By Raquel Erickson

Indonesian communications satellite deployed in orbit by SpaceX

Indonesian communications satellite deployed in orbit by SpaceX

At 1:18 AM E.T., SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket took off from Cape Canaveral in Florida.

The satellite launched today, dubbed Merah Putih, which means "red and white", in a reference to the Indonesian flag will assist PT Telkom Indonesia to provide communications services to customers throughout Indonesia and the greater Southeast Asia region.

For Telkom Indonesia, the launch restores the state-owned operator's fleet back to three satellites after one of its satellites exploded in orbit last August.

The reusable stage one booster touched down on the droneship "Of Course I Still Love You" approximately nine minutes after launch.

REUSE, REUSE, REUSE. This launch is the first to employ a reused Block 5 - the first stage of the rocket. In March 2017, the company was able to successfully relaunch its block 4 booster rocket that had previously launched a year earlier. This milestone may feel small in the shadow of SpaceX's accomplishments over the last ~18 months but make no mistake: the second flight of a Block 5 booster is by far the company's most significant achievement in recent years. The satellite will be deployed approximately 32 minutes after liftoff.

Around the same time, the Falcon 9's upper stage shut down and entered a preliminary orbit before a almost 20-minute coast across the Atlantic.


The company has big plans to use the Block 5 to enable more ambitious turnaround times.

The new satellite will replace the aging Telkom 1 satellite, which has been in operation since 1999. The new telecom craft was built by SSL in Palo Alto, California.

The two-hour launch window opens on Tuesday, August 7 at 1:18 a.m. EDT, or 5:18 UTC.

Merah Putih will be located at 108 degrees east longitude. After extensive testing and checkout, the satellite will be put into service.

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.

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