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SpaceX conducted its first relaunch of the Block 5 Falcon 9 rocket August 7, successfully delivering a communications satellite into a geostationary transfer orbit for Telkom Indonesia.

On board was Merah Putih, a communications satellite for Indonesia.

Launching at 1:18 a.m. ET, the flight carried communications satellite Merah Putih, which is named for the red and white colors of the Indonesian flag.

By 2019, SpaceX founder Elon Musk believes that the company will be able to launch and land a Falcon 9 booster, then launch it again 24 hours later.

The 12,800-pound satellite, built by SSL, features 60 C-band transponders to provide mobile services across Indonesia and Southeast Asia. The space exploration company successfully flew a used booster for the first time back in March 2017.

Musk claims that the new Block 5 booster can be used for up to 100 launches with "moderate" refurbishment work, and costs only $50 million to launch.

"The satellite is expected to have a service lifetime of 15 or more years", SpaceX said.

Next up for SpaceX is launch of Telesat's Telstar 18 VANTAGE communications station from Cape Canaveral around August 17, following by launch of an Earth-observation satellite for Argentina.

This is the first time SpaceX has successfully reused a Block 5 Falcon 9 rocket, according to Space.com. "Ironically, we need to take it apart to confirm it does not need to be taken apart".

Pre-programmed commands gently nudged the satellite away from the rocket at the mission's 32-minute mark, and live views from the Falcon 9 rocket showed the Merah Putih spacecraft separating from the Falcon 9's second stage over Africa. "This rocket probably won't refly for probably a couple of months, but by late this year we should be seeing substantial reflight of Block 5 vehicles, probably with Block 5 boosters seeing their third, maybe their fourth reflight".

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. That flight is scheduled for launch next month from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.


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