Indonesia’s ‘Merah Putih’ satellite is being readied at Cape Canaveral for launch, likely on August 4th, by a SpaceX rocket. The satellite was previously known as Telkom-4. Merah Putih means ‘Red & White’ which refers to the colours in Indonesia’s national flag.
Built by Space Systems/Loral and based on the firm’s SSL-1300 platform, the satellite will cover Southeast Asia and South Asia with 60 active transponders (48 in C-band and 12 extended C-band transponders) and with 36 focused on the Southeast Asia region and 24 on the Indian market.
The order was placed in early 2016 and the satellite produced ahead of expectations. It will have an in-orbit life of 16 years.
PT Telkom Indonesia’s VP/Corporate Communications, Arif Prabowo, said that the satellite is scheduled for a launch to 108 degrees East longitude on August 4 via a Falcon 9 rocket. The satellite has a mass of some 5800 kgs.
The new craft will permit Telkom-1, which failed in August 2017, to be retired.
Prabowo added that the launch would strengthen Telkom’s satellite business, which had been preceded by Telkom-2 and Telkom 3S.
The launch will be SpaceX’s 15th mission this year, and the rocket’s first stage will attempt a landing on the ‘Of Course I Still Love You’ floating barge.