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SpaceX launches Indonesian comsat with 'used' booster

SpaceX launches Indonesian comsat with 'used' booster

SpaceX only had a two-hour launch window that opened at 1:18 am EST Tuesday in which to complete the mission.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida early Tuesday morning.

However, Musk admitted that this is likely to be a major challenge, noting that "there's only so much work you could even do in one day, and a bunch of it consists of transporting the rocket from its landing site back to the launch site, mounting a new satellite on the rocket and loading propellant".

After separating from the satellite, the Falcon 9 rocket successfully landed on a droneship in the Atlantic Ocean.

As noted by webcast host and engineer Lauren Lyons, the second successful drone ship recovery of Falcon 9 Booster 1046 (B1046) paves the way for the SpaceX's first-ever third launch of the same rocket.

The Block 5 is SpaceX's final version of the Falcon 9, and features improvements to enable first-stage reuse 10 or more times.

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But SpaceX engineers needed to actually make sure that was true, that after its first use Block 5 would be ready to get out there again. The satellite will be deployed approximately 32 minutes after liftoff.

Update 1:50 AM ET: Merah Putih is in position.

Merah Putih's on-board propulsion system will be used to circularize the orbit at the intended 22,300-mile altitude and to maneuver it to its designated operational location at 108 degrees east longitude.

If launch remains set for August 23, liftoff is scheduled for a window opening at 11:33 p.m. EDT (0333 GMT on August 24). The satellite will provide Internet, telephone and cellular backhaul services, according to SSL. Another predawn Falcon 9 flight from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on July 25 delivered 10 Iridium voice and data relay payloads to orbit.

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.