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SpaceX’s brand new, recyclable Falcon 9 rocket launches again

In the tiny hours of Tuesday morning, SpaceX launched an Indonesian satellite in its 15th flight this year. 

It’s also the first re-flight of the company’s new, recyclable Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket, which had its first launch back in May. 

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.

Merah Putih was successfully deployed roughly 30 minutes later, primed to help telecommunications company PT Telekom provide service to Indonesia and other areas in South and Southeast Asia.

The satellite is expected to be in service for 15 or more years.

Falcon 9’s first stage was also recovered on the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship, which is located in the Atlantic Ocean. 

The landing marked the 28th successful recovery of a stage one booster by SpaceX. 

The company aims for the Block 5 rocket to be used as many as 10 or more times in a row, with little or no maintenance between launches.

By 2019, SpaceX founder Elon Musk believes that the company will be able to launch and land a Falcon 9 booster, then launch it again 24 hours later.

It’s all part of SpaceX’s grand plan to make spaceflight more affordable, and with 30 launches slated for this year, it could be a tight finish to make good on that promise.

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