Indonesian communications satellite deployed in orbit by SpaceX

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SpaceX on Tuesday successfully re-launched its used Block 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, deploying the Indonesian Merah Putih satellite in the orbit just over half an hour later.

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.

On board was Merah Putih, a communications satellite for Indonesia.

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket lifts off at 1:18 a.m. EDT (0518 GMT) Tuesday with the Merah Putih communications satellite. In March 2017, the company was able to successfully relaunch its block 4 booster rocket that had previously launched a year earlier.

For Telkom Indonesia, the launch restores the state-owned operator's fleet back to three satellites after one of its satellites exploded in orbit last August.

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With its successful landing, Falcon 9 may well go into space for the third time.

Musk claims that the new Block 5 booster can be used for up to 100 launches with "moderate" refurbishment work, and costs only $50 million to launch.

Musk has said Block 5 will be the last major iteration for the Falcon 9. "The satellite is expected to have a service lifetime of 15 or more years", SpaceX representatives wrote in a mission description. So after the May launch, Musk said, "Ironically, we need to take it apart to confirm it does not need to be taken apart", as Ars Technica reports. "This rocket probably won't refly for probably a couple of months, but by late this year we should be seeing substantial reflight of Block 5 vehicles, probably with Block 5 boosters seeing their third, maybe their fourth reflight".

Liftoff came on time at 1:19 a.m. ET Tuesday (10:19 p.m. PT Monday) after a trouble-free countdown at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Another predawn Falcon 9 flight from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on July 25 delivered 10 Iridium voice and data relay payloads to orbit.

If launch remains set for August 23, liftoff is scheduled for a window opening at 11:33 p.m. EDT (0333 GMT on August 24).

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