SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Launch From Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

Falcon 9 Iridium-1 launch

SpaceX launched the first previously-flown "block 5" version of its Falcon 9 rocket early Tuesday, sending an Indonesian communications satellite into space and successfully recovering the first stage booster with a pinpoint landing on an offshore droneship.

Merah Putih was successfully deployed roughly 30 minutes later, primed to help telecommunications company PT Telekom provide service to Indonesia and other areas in South and Southeast Asia. The name refers to the red and while colors of Indonesia's flag.

A Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket lifts off from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Complex 40 launch pad in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Aug. 7, 2018.

A view of Falcon 9 B1046.2's first stage engine plume expanding as the rocket reaches thinner air. 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. One of the most important fronts is the development of an cheap reusable rocket booster system that can be used to launch satelites and manned craft into space. Though SpaceX hasn't released much about what they found when they did take the Block 5 apart, the quick turnaround between launches indicates that Block 5 seems to be living up to that promise. "The satellite is expected to have a service lifetime of 15 or more years", SpaceX representatives wrote in a mission description. The third reuse will pave the way for the 4th, 5th, 10th, 50th ... reflight of individual Falcon 9 boosters, an absolutely integral requirement for SpaceX to achieve its ultimate goals of sustainably colonizing the solar system - starting with Mars - and thus "backing up" humanity.

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A few minutes after separation, three of the first stage's nine engines re-ignited to slow the booster for entry back into the discernible atmosphere, using four titanium "grid fins" at the top of the rocket to maintain its orientation and trajectory. Eastern from Cape Canaveral Air Force Base in Florida with Telkom Indonesia's Merah Putih satellite. "Ironically, we need to take it apart to confirm that it does not need to be taken apart".

Launch commentator Lauren Lyons said the booster would be prepared for its third launch later this year.

The new telecom craft, designed for a 16-year life, was built by SSL in Palo Alto, California.

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