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.
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.
The second stage stayed in orbit and deployed a communications satellite that will provide service to Indonesia and other areas of South and Southeast Asia. The launch was used to deliver the Merah Putih satellite to a Geostationary Transfer Orbit.
The reusable stage one booster touched down on the droneship "Of Course I Still Love You" approximately nine minutes after launch.
SpaceX has tried to advance that reusability campaign by making as-yet unsuccessful attempts to recover the Falcon 9's nose cone, or fairing, after West Coast launches.
That launch back in May was the first time the company used Block 5 for an actual mission. "This is possible due to those Block 5 upgrades, which brings SpaceX closer to its goal of full and rapid rocket reusability", she said on tonight's webcast, which was watched by more than 25,000 YouTube users at its peak.
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. 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. "Ironically, we need to take it apart to confirm it does not need to be taken apart".
Just three months separated today's mission from the first launch of the same Block 5 booster. Eastern from Cape Canaveral Air Force Base in Florida with Telkom Indonesia's Merah Putih satellite.
He said the Block 5's first stage booster is created to fly 10 times "with no scheduled refurbishment".
A flight readiness review Monday approved the continuation of final launch preps for Parker Solar Probe, which will fly closer to the sun than any previous mission.