Indonesian Satellite Launched by SpaceX from Cape Canaveral on a Falcon 9 Rocket

Indonesian Satellite Launched by SpaceX from Cape Canaveral on a Falcon 9 Rocket

Indonesia plans to use the launch of its newest communications satellite atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket to expand broadband internet availability throughout the nation. At 3:11 p.m. EST (2011 UTC), the Telkomsat HTS 113BT satellite, commonly known as Merah Putih 2, launched from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

The Falcon 9 rocket managed to get off the pad at the beginning of its two-hour launch window in spite of some windy circumstances.

Tail number B1067, the Falcon 9 first stage booster that enabled this mission, completed its 17th flight. Prior launches comprised of two Cargo Dragon spacecraft trips to the International Space Station, Crew-3, and Crew-4. In June 2023, it also launched PSN Satria, another communications satellite owned by Indonesia.

B1067 touched down on the SpaceX droneship “Just Read the Instructions” about 8.5 minutes after takeoff. This was JRTI’s first trip since B1058 capsized in December on the way back to Port Canaveral, Florida. The flight on Tuesday was the 276th booster landing overall and the 72nd landing on JRTI. In 2024, this was also SpaceX’s sixteenth launch.

After more than thirty-four minutes of flight, the Merah Putih 2 satellite was successfully released from the Falcon 9 second stage.

Increasing the Number of People with Internet Access

Building on its Spacebus 4000B2 platform, Thales Alenia Space constructed the satellite scheduled for launch on Tuesday. The Merah Putih 2 satellite “will provide more than 32 Gbps capacity over Indonesia,” according to the corporation.

It will operate for 15 years in an orbital position of 113° East and weights roughly four metric tons. Telecom Review said that the contracted work had a value of 3.8 trillion INR ($242.8 million).

“It’s very fulfilling to be able to support our customer’s business development after Telkom 3S. HTS 113BT is the fourth telecom program to serve the Indonesian satellite operators confirming that Thales Alenia Space is able to match its customers’ needs by offering a wide telecom satellites product range,” said Hervé Derrey, President and CEO of Thales Alenia Space in a 2021 statement.

SpaceX will launch the second satellite on behalf of Telkomsat, called Merah Putih 2, which means “red and white” in Indonesian. The first was the Merah Putih, formerly known as Telkom-4, which took off from the Cape on August 7, 2018, atop a Falcon 9 rocket.

Additionally, it was the first time a Falcon 9 Block 5 booster was preflighted.

Approximately thirty-three minutes following liftoff, Merah Putih 2 will be launched into a geosynchronous transfer orbit.

Sanchita Patil

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