SpaceX Just Launched A Rocket With A Critical Reused Part

SpaceX Falcon 9 Block 5 Meruh Putih Telkom-4 PT Telkom Indonesia

SpaceX's Block 5 Falcon 9 carrying the Merah Putih or"Red and White satellite for Telkom Indonesia Aug. 7. Credit SpaceX video still

Furthermore, while SpaceX's competitors have focused only on recovery of the first stage launcher, SpaceX has set a target date of 2022 for development a fully recoverable 150-ton payload rocket (including second stage), which would place them several years ahead of Chinese firms, if they are successful.

SpaceX has successfully reused the first Falcon 9 Block 5 booster less than three months after the rocket's major reliability and reusability upgrade debuted. Less than 9 minutes after liftoff, the rocket's first stage came back to Earth for a vertical touchdown on SpaceX's "Of Course I Still Love You" drone ship, which was stationed a few hundred miles off the Florida coast. Due to SpaceX's success in this area, it is becoming one of the most valuable venture-backed startups in the US.

This is the first time that the Block 5 booster has been reused which means that this version of rocket could be launched as many as 10 times, with limited refurbishment between missions, as reported by Bloomberg.

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. This milestone may feel small in the shadow of SpaceX's accomplishments over the last ~18 months but make no mistake: the second flight of a Block 5 booster is by far the company's most significant achievement in recent years.

In May 2018, Falcon 9 was used to send a large communications satellite for Bangladesh from Florida and the vehicle landed on a drone ship, it was inspected, refurbished and made ready for flight again.

This is not the first time SpaceX has successfully relaunched one of its rockets, but it is the first time that the uber-reusable "block 5" rocket blasted off.

SpaceX's goal is the rapid reusability of its rockets to drive down the cost of launches.

The Merah Putih satellite launched Tuesday will provide C-band telecommunications services over Indonesia and India.

Officials from Telkom Indonesia expected the Telkom 1 satellite, which launched in 1999, to remain operational until Merah Putih's launch.

Merah Putih will be located at 108 degrees east longitude.

SpaceX's latest Falcon 9 booster should return to Port Canaveral within three or four days, and will then undergo inspections to determine its fitness for a third launch.

"Satellite plays a vital role in our telecommunications infrastructure", said Zulhelfi Abidin, chief technology officer of Telkom Indonesia, in a press release earlier this year.

SpaceX only had a two-hour launch window that opened at 1:18 am EST Tuesday in which to complete the mission.

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