SpaceX launched a new Indonesian communications satellite into orbit from Florida on Sunday (June 18) and capped the flight with a flawless rocket landing at sea.
A Falcon 9 rocket topped with a SATRIA-1 communications satellite lifted off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, flying into the evening sky at 6:21 p.m. EDT (2221 GMT) after a 15-minute delay due to high winds.
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Shortly after liftoff, the Falcon 9 first stage booster returned to Earth for a vertical landing on SpaceX’s unmanned spaceship A Shortfall of Gravitas, which was stationed in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida.
The landing, which occurred 8.5 minutes after liftoff, was the 12th launch and landing for that particular booster, according to SpaceX mission description. Among those earlier efforts were four Dragon missions to the International Space Station for NASA, two of them manned and two of them robotic resupply flights.
Meanwhile, the Falcon 9 upper stage continued to carry SATRIA-1 into geosynchronous transfer orbit, eventually deploying the satellite there less than 37 minutes after liftoff.
SATRIA-1 (short for “Satellite of the Republic of Indonesia”) will be operated for the Indonesian government by the Indonesian company PSN.
The $550 million spacecraft is “expected to further the nation’s connectivity integration, providing free internet connectivity to 150,000 public facilities, including schools, regional government offices, and health facilities.” According to the Jakarta Post.
“Satria-1 will have a throughput capacity of 150 billion bits per second, three times the capacity of the nine communications satellites currently used by Indonesia,” the outlet added.
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