SpaceX launches powerful Indonesian communications satellite in 16th flight this year

SpaceX launches powerful Indonesian communications satellite in 16th flight this year

On Tuesday, SpaceX successfully launched their 16th Falcon 9 rocket of the year, sending an advanced Indonesian communications satellite into space.

On its 17th mission, the Falcon 9 launched from launch complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 3:11 p.m. EST.


On Tuesday afternoon, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, carrying Indonesia’s Merah Putih 2 communications satellite. This was the 16th launch by SpaceX this year.

The author of this article is William Harwood, who is affiliated with CBS News.

The initial phase propelled the rocket through the dense lower atmosphere before separating and autonomously landing on a floating platform in the ocean, eight-and-a-half minutes following liftoff. The second stage then completed the ascent into space, deploying the Merah Putih 2 satellite to operate independently 25 minutes later.

SpaceX successfully launched a second data relay station for Telkomsat.

SpaceX’s latest flight on Tuesday was the 16th time they have launched the Falcon 9 rocket this year, and it marks the 301st launch since its first use in 2010. The company has a successful track record of recovering the first stage in 275 out of 301 launches. They anticipate launching over 140 rockets this year, assuming all equipment and weather conditions are favorable.


A depiction of Telkomsat’s Merah Putih 2 satellite for communication, positioned at a distance of 22,300 miles above Indonesia.

Thales Alenia Space

In the coming weeks, the company plans to deploy two additional Starlink flights, increasing the total number of broadband data relay stations launched to nearly 5,900 by the end of this month.

On March 1, three NASA astronauts and a Russian member, known as Crew-8, will be launched to the International Space Station. The spacecraft, named “Endeavour,” will mark SpaceX’s fifth flight and set a new record for their fleet of transportation vessels.

Matthew Dominick, Michael Barratt, Jeanette Epps, and Alexander Grebenkin will take over for Jasmin Moghbeli, Andreas Mogensen, Satoshi Furukawa, and Konstantin Borisov as the commander and crew of Crew-8.launched to the outpost last August.

Moghbeli and her team intend to come back to Earth by approximately March 8th, opening up the possibility for a Russian Soyuz spacecraft to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The spacecraft will carry experienced cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy, guest flier Marina Vasilevskaya from Belarus, and NASA veteran Tracy Dyson.

On April 2nd, Novitskiy and Vasilevskaya, along with NASA astronaut Loral O’Hara, will be returning to Earth. They will be using the Soyuz MS-24/70S spacecraft, which previously transported O’Hara, Oleg Kononenko, and Nikolai Chub to the station in September of last year.

Kononenko and Chub are spending a full year in space and will return to Earth with Dyson in September aboard the Soyuz MS-25/71S spacecraft delivered by Novitskiy.