Elon Musk’s SpaceX successfully launched a Falcon 9 rocket for a second time early Tuesday morning from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, according to a statement from the company.
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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 satellite is expected to have a service lifetime of 15 or more years,” SpaceX said.
After separating from the satellite, the Falcon 9 rocket successfully landed on a droneship in the Atlantic Ocean.
This is the first time SpaceX has successfully reused a Block 5 Falcon 9 rocket, according to Space.com. Its first launch was in May 2018. Shortly after the launch, Musk told Ars Technica, “We are going to be very rigorous in taking this rocket apart and confirming our design assumptions to be confident that it is indeed able to be reused without taking it apart. Ironically, we need to take it apart to confirm it does not need to be taken apart.”
Falcon 9 and Merah Putih are vertical on Pad 40 in Florida. Weather is 80% favorable for the two-hour launch window, which opens Tuesday, August 7 at 1:18 a.m. EST, 5:18 a.m. UTC. https://t.co/gtC39uBC7z pic.twitter.com/xT23Oaz7bu
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) August 6, 2018
The Falcon 9 rocket is designed to fly 10 times with inspections only at landing and liftoff, and 100 times or more with some refurbishment involved, according to Space.com.
Musk has said that reusing rockets is essential for cutting costs in spaceflight and making space exploration more accessible.