SpaceX launches powerful Indonesian communications satellite on a 16th Falcon 9 rocket

SpaceX launches powerful Indonesian communications satellite on a 16th Falcon 9 rocket

Tuesday saw the launch of SpaceX’s 16th Falcon 9 rocket of the year, carrying a potent Indonesian communications satellite into orbit.

At 3:11 p.m. EST, the Falcon 9 rocket launched from launch complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, using a first stage on its 17th flight.

The first stage boosted the rocket through the dense lower atmosphere and descended, landing safely on an offshore barge eight and a half minutes after liftoff. The second stage continued the ascent into space, and 25 minutes later, the Mera Putih 2 satellite was launched into independent flight.

The $240 million Mera Putih satellite (name means “red and white” after the Indonesian flag) is operated by state-owned Telecomsat and built by Thales Alenia Space. It is designed to provide data rates of up to 32 gigabytes per second using C-band and Ku-band transponders that cover all of Indonesia.

This 15 year satellite is her second Telkomsat data relay station launched by SpaceX.

Tuesday’s flight was SpaceX’s 16th Falcon 9 launch this year and the 301st since the rocket’s debut in 2010. The company has now completed 275 successful first-stage recoveries, and recently completed 201 consecutive successful recoveries. SpaceX expects to launch more than 140 rockets this year if hardware and weather cooperate.

In the short term, the company plans to open two more Starlink flights by the end of this month, bringing the total number of broadband data relay stations opened to date to nearly 5,900.

This will prepare him for the launch of three NASA astronauts and one Russian (Crew-8) to the International Space Station on March 1st. SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule Endeavor will make its fifth flight, setting a new record for SpaceX’s ferry fleet.

Crew 8 Captain Matthew Dominick, Michael Barratt, Janet Epps, and astronaut Alexander Grebenkin join Crew 7 Captain Jasmin Moghberg, European Space Agency astronaut Andreas Mogensen, and Japanese astronaut Satoshi Furukawa will take over from cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov. They were brought to the outpost last August.

In order to facilitate the launch of a Russian Soyuz spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan carrying experienced cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy, guest flier Marina Vasilevskaya from Belarus, and NASA veteran Tracy Dyson, Moghbeli and her crewmates intend to return to Earth around March 8.

Nowitzki and Vasilevskaya will return to Earth on April 2, along with NASA astronaut Loral O’Hara. They will use the Soyuz MS-24/70S spacecraft that carried O’Hara, Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chubb to the station last September.

Kononenko and Chubb will spend a full year in space and return to Earth with Dyson in September aboard a Soyuz MS-25/71S spacecraft delivered by Nowitzki.

Topics #Falcon 9 rocket #powerful Indonesian communications satellite #rocket #SpaceX

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