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Jakarta Post

Merah Putih satellite blasts into orbit

  • Kurniawan Hari

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, August 8, 2018   /  08:37 am
The Jakarta Post Image
Merah Putih, once operational, is expected to replace the aging Telkom 1 satellite, which has been in operation since 1999.(Antara/Saptono)

It was a tense eight minutes for everyone involved. 

For those working at PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom), launching a satellite from Cape Canaveral in the United States is a tense and emotional occasion, given that 42 years ago the company sent its first telecommunication satellite, Palapa A1, into orbit from the same spot.

For space transportation firm SpaceX, founded by Elon Musk, it was the first time that it had used a Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket, a vehicle that the company hopes can be used at least 10 times before any refurbishment is needed.

The plan was to have Falcon 9 lift off at 1:15 a.m. local time on Tuesday, deliver its payload into high orbit and use Falcon 9 to perform another landing on one of SpaceX’s drone ships in the Atlantic named “Of course I still love you”. 

And after only e...