SpaceX launched a new Indonesian communications satellite from Florida on Sunday (June 18) and capped the flight with a flawless rocket landing in the ocean.
The Falcon 9 rocket carrying the SATRIA-1 communications satellite lifted off from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida and lifted off into the early morning sky at 6:21 pm EDT (2221 GMT) after a 15-minute delay due to high winds.
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Shortly after liftoff, the Falcon 9’s first stage booster returned to Earth for a vertical touchdown on the SpaceX droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas, which landed in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida.
The touchdown, which occurred 8.5 minutes after liftoff, marked the 12th launch and landing for this particular booster. SpaceX mission description. Those previous efforts included four Dragon missions to the International Space Station for NASA, two of which were crewed and two were robotic resupply flights.
Falcon 9’s upper stage, meanwhile, carried SATRIA-1 into geosynchronous transfer orbit, eventually positioning the satellite there within 37 minutes of liftoff.
SATRIA-1 (its name stands for “Satellite of the Republic of Indonesia”) will be operated by the Indonesian company PSN for the Indonesian government.
The $550 million shuttle is “planned to increase connectivity in the country and provide free Internet connectivity to 150,000 public facilities, including schools, regional government offices and health facilities.” According to Jakarta Post.
“SATRIA-1 will have a throughput capacity of 150 billion bits per second, which is more than three times the capacity of the nine telecommunications satellites currently in use by Indonesia,” the outlet added.