It was only the fourth flight of an upgraded block 5 booster since the rocket's debut in May and the first launch and recovery of a previously flown block 5 - the same stage that helped launch a Bangladeshi satellite during its maiden flight three months ago.
But SpaceX engineers needed to actually make sure that was true, that after its first use Block 5 would be ready to get out there again. The Block 5, unlike previous models, is created to need little taking-apart and refurbishment in between launches. That it only took the company a few months to send the booster back to the launchpad is very promising and could mark the beginning of an era of more affordable flights with reusable boosters.
Keeping up a run of middle-of-the-night launches from Cape Canaveral, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket powered by a recycled first stage booster climbed into orbit early Tuesday with the Indonesian Merah Putih communications satellite.
Following stage separation, SpaceX will attempt to land Falcon 9's first stage on the "Of Course I Still Love You" droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.
The new satellite will replace the aging Telkom 1 satellite, which has been in operation since 1999.
Baby's body pulled from water near Brooklyn Bridge
The baby boy, thought to be about 8 months old, was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. No parent or guardian was present at the scene and the child showed no signs of trauma, police said.
The rocket carried the Merah Putih satellite into orbit, which will provide internet and phone services across Indonesia and Southeast Asia, according to SpaceX.
The new telecom craft, designed for a 16-year life, was built by SSL in Palo Alto, California. The satellite is owned by PT Telcom, the largest provider of telecommunications services in Indonesia. "We look forward to traveling to Florida to see the satellite launch later this summer".
SpaceX's next mission is set for launch no earlier than August 23 with the Telstar 18 VANTAGE communications satellite to provide broadcast, enterprise and government communications services over parts of India, China, Mongolia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Ocean region.
With the third reuse now explicitly on the table for B1046 "later this year", Falcon 9 has broken a two-launch ceiling that long loomed over its older predecessors.
The two-hour launch window opens on Tuesday, August 7 at 1:18 a.m. EDT, or 5:18 UTC.