Triple success for SpaceX and Indonesian satellite
August 8, 2018
By Chris Forrester
Elon Musk’s SpaceX managed a textbook launch of Telkom Indonesia’s Merah Putih (Red & White) satellite in the early hours (01.18 am EDT) of August 7th from Cape Canaveral.
The launch was the 15th this year for SpaceX.
The launch used – or re-used – a Falcon 9 Block 5 ‘flight tested’ rocket which had previously flown back in May when it launched a satellite for Bangladesh. This is the shortest-ever time between a launch, and inspection/re-launch of one of its rockets. These new versions are designed for re-use around 10 times and with minimum refurbishment between flights.
To complete the ‘triple’, SpaceX just eight minutes later then recovered – again – the rocket’s valuable first stage onto a flawless landing on the ‘Of Course I Still Love You’ floating barge.
Musk is on record as saying that by the end of this year the intention is to see one or two of these latest Block 5 launch vehicles used 3 or 4 times.
SpaceX is targeting about 30 total missions this year. In May Musk said his target was to re-use a rocket twice in a 24-hour period.