Merah Putih translates into "red and white" and is a reference to the colors on Indonesia's national flag. It was successfully recovered and spruced up for tonight's rerun of the GTO launch profile.
SpaceX has launched its Falcon 9 rocket - powered by an advanced first-stage booster that the company said could be used up to 100 times. After it is hauled back to Cape Canaveral, it will be inspected and, if no major problems are found, it will go into the stockpile of available block 5 stages ready for use in downstream missions.
The 229-foot-tall (70-meter) rocket took off from Cape Canaveral's Complex 40 launch pad at 1:18 a.m. EDT (0518 GMT), turned toward the east and broke the sound barrier within about one minute.
Tuesday's launch delivered a much-needed satellite to orbit for PT Telkom Indonesia, that country's largest telecommunications and network provider.
With the aid of grid fins, rocket thrust and four landing legs, the first stage touched down on SpaceX's landing barge around eight minutes into the mission. 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.
Falcon 9's first stage was also recovered on the "Of Course I Still Love You" droneship, which is located in the Atlantic Ocean.
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Around the same time, the Falcon 9's upper stage shut down and entered a preliminary orbit before a almost 20-minute coast across the Atlantic.
The satellite was deployed approximately 32 minutes after liftoff into its targeted Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO).
The 60-transponder, all C-band satellite separated from the rocket's upper stage nearly 32 minutes later. "The satellite is expected to have a service lifetime of 15 or more years", SpaceX representatives wrote in a mission description. No Block 4 first stage booster has ever flown more than two times, nor has SpaceX ever attempted to reuse a second stage or its payload fairing a second time, according to Space.com.
But it was the first time SpaceX demonstrated reuse of a Block 5-generation booster, which the company plans to be its workhorse in the coming years, until a new, super-powerful rocket dubbed the BFR is ready for service. Rather, it really is the case that the first Block 5 reuse is one of the most important things ever done by SpaceX.
SpaceX hasn't gone into detail about how hard it was to get the used Block 5 ready for reuse but SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk made Twitter comments last month that hinted it isn't an easy process.
"Ironically, we need to take it apart to confirm that it does not need to be taken apart", Musk said during a May 10 call with reporters.