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Last Updated : Aug 07, 2018 04:02 PM IST | Source:

SpaceX successfully re-launched Falcon 9 rocket today. Here's all you need to know

Today’s launch was the third SpaceX mission in 16 days, and the company’s 15th launch of the year overall.

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Representative image.
Representative image.

SpaceX on Tuesday successfully re-launched its used Block 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, deploying the Indonesian Merah Putih satellite in the orbit just over half an hour later.

The Block 5 rocket or Falcon 9’s first stage booster also re-landed successfully on one of the company’s drone ships “Of Course I Still Love” parked a few hundred miles east of Cape Canaveral in the Atlantic. It became the 28th booster that SpaceX has ever recovered.

With its successful landing, Falcon 9 may well go into space for the third time.

This was the first time that SpaceX reused one of its new powerful Block 5 boosters — the final upgrade of the Falcon 9 that is supposed to be able to go to space and back for 100 times.

SpaceX had used Falcon 9 in May to send up a large communications satellite for Bangladesh from Florida. 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.

“We are going to be very rigorous in taking this rocket apart and confirming our design assumptions to be confident that it is indeed able to be reused without being taken apart,” Elon Musk, SpaceX’s founder and CEO, had said during a conference call with reporters, referring to the first Block 5 booster.

Musk had said the Block 5’s first stage booster is designed to fly 10 times “with no scheduled refurbishment” and with “moderate scheduled maintenance,” Block 5 first stages could be capable of 100 missions.

He had explained that such reuse goals are crucial to SpaceX’s long-term mission of reducing the cost of space transportation. SpaceX aims to eventually launch a Falcon 9 rocket, recover the booster, and re-launch it within 24 hours.

Today’s launch was the third SpaceX mission in 16 days, and the company’s 15th launch of the year overall.

The Merah Putih satellite will provide C-band telecommunications services over Indonesia and India. The new satellite will replace Telkom 1, which failed in a mysterious debris-shedding event in geostationary orbit last year.

The new telecom craft, designed for a 16-year life, was built by SSL in Palo Alto, California.
First Published on Aug 7, 2018 04:02 pm
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