SpaceX Completes Successful Static Fire Test for Indonesian Merah Putih Comsat Launching Overnight Aug. 7

SpaceX runs successful static fire test of Block 5 Falcon 9
first stage at 12:46 p.m. EDT on Aug. 2 at Space Launch Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, for
Merah Putih launch
targeted for Aug. 7, 2018.  Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com


Ken Kremer     SpaceUpClose.com     2 August 2018


TITUSVILLE,
FL – On a horribly hazy and sweltering midsummers day SpaceX engineers
successfully completed a static hot fire test today, Aug. 2, of the next Falcon
9 booster that is targeted for a dead of night launch next Tuesday, Aug. 7 from
the Florida Space Coast – namely for the
Merah Putih comsat for the nation of
Indonesia using a ‘Flight–Proven’ booster!



Liftoff
of the
Merah Putih telecommunications satellite is
targeted for the middle-of-the-night at 1:18 a.m. EDT (0518 GMT) Tuesday, Aug. 7, from seaside Space Launch Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station,
FL.



The two-hour long launch window extends until 3:18
a.m. EDT (0718 GMT). 



The satellite will launched to geostationary orbit
and an altitude some 22,000 miles (36,000 km) above Earth.

The brief hot fire test involving ignition of all
nine Merlin 1D first stage engines took place at about 12:46 p.m. EDT (1646 GMT) at pad 40



SpaceX runs successful static fire test of
Block 5 Falcon 9 first stage at 12:46 p.m. EDT on Aug. 2 at Space Launch
Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, for
Merah Putih launch targeted for Aug. 7,
2018.  Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

Check out our exclusive Space UpClose photos of the hot fire test –
as seen from Titusville along the Indian River Lagoon.





SpaceX runs successful static fire test of
Block 5 Falcon 9 first stage at 12:46 p.m. EDT on Aug. 2 at Space Launch
Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, for
Merah Putih launch targeted for Aug. 7,
2018.  Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com






SpaceX
confirmed a good outcome for the test by twitter several hours later.





“Static fire test of
Falcon 9 complete—targeting August 7 launch of Merah Putih from Pad 40 in
Florida.”





If all goes well, this will mark the 3rd SpaceX launch
of a Block 5 model Falcon 9 booster in just two and a half weeks.  It will also count as the 15th
SpaceX launch of 2018.





This will also be the first reflight of a Block 5 booster, and is recycled from the first stage of the very first Block 5 model
that launched the Bangabandhu-1 comsat only 4 months ago in May 2018.
SpaceX runs successful static fire test of
Block 5 Falcon 9 first stage at 12:46 p.m. EDT on Aug. 2 at Space Launch
Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, for
Merah Putih launch targeted for Aug. 7,
2018.  Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

The booster looked sooty in appearance to me from a distance,
indicating its very likely a ‘flight-proven’ vehicle.



SpaceX is planning an Atlantic ocean landing on the OCISLY drone
ship platform several hundred miles (km)  off the East Coast of Florida.  






The 5800 kg satellite was built by SSL (formerly Space Systems/Loral) in
Palo Alto, Ca., and completed ahead of schedule for
Telkom Indonesia,
also known as PT Telkom.


The Merah Putih
spacecraft built by SSL. Credit: SSL

It was previously named Telkom-4 until recently renamed, and serve as a replacement for Telkom-1 which mysteriously
failed in orbit in August 2017.   



The new name of Merah Putih is derived from the red and while
colors of the Indonesian flag.



The satellite has a design lifetime of 15 years or more.

SpaceX runs successful static fire test of
Block 5 Falcon 9 first stage at 12:46 p.m. EDT on Aug. 2 at Space Launch
Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, for
Merah Putih launch targeted for Aug. 7,
2018.  Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

It will serve the 17,000 islands of the Indonesian archipelago as
well  India and other parts of South and
Southeast Asia.  Satellites for the “backbone”
of telecommunications in Indonesia, along with other technologies, such as
submarine cable.

“Satellite plays a vital role in our
telecommunications infrastructure,” said Mr. Mr. Zulhelfi Abidin, Chief
Technology Officer of Telkom, in a statement.
“SSL has been an excellent spacecraft supplier
and has completed the satellite construction ahead of schedule. We look forward
to traveling to Florida to see the satellite launch later this summer.”



The Merah Putih satellite for Telkom Indonesia is encapsulated
inside the SpaceX payload fairing. Credit: Telkom Indonesia






The satellite is based on the SSL 1300
series bus.
which provides the
flexibility to support a broad range of applications and technology advances.
It is equipped with 60 C-band transponders. 36 transponders will
be used in Indonesia and the rest will be used for the Indian market.

“Merah Putih, which was completed ahead of schedule, will replace Telkom-1, at
108 degrees East, where it will expand on Telkom’s coverage to serve new
markets. Its all C-band payload will enhance both internet and telephone
service for populations in remote regions and offload backhaul for cellular
service.”

The hold down static fire test is
routinely carried by SpaceX to ensure all is ready with the rocket.
During the engine test all nine Merlin 1D first stage
engines were ignited for several seconds.
During Thursday’s hold down static
fire test, the rocket’s first and second stages were fueled with liquid oxygen
and RP-1 propellants just like an actual launch, and a simulated countdown is
carried out to the point of a brief engine ignition. 
With the hazy
weather conditions it was difficult to see anything until the sudden moment of
ignition and the exhaust plume shooting out the flame trench to the north.
The hold
down engine test with the erected Falcon 9 rocket involved the ignition of all
nine Merlin 1D first stage engines generating some 1.7 million pounds of thrust
at pad 40 while the two stage rocket was restrained on the pad – minus the Merah Putih payload to keep it safe in case of a
mishap. 
This static fire test appeared to
last for about three seconds and generated a sudden and huge exhaust plume of
white smoke and steam rushing out of the ocean facing flame trench.
The plume wafted around in the wind and dissipated rapidly within
a few minutes. 
The rocket will next be
lowered and rolled back down the ramp and
returned to the pad 40 hanger to attach the
Merah
Putih
spacecraft. 





Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA,
Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Orbital ATK and more space and mission reports direct
from the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida and
Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia.

Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and Planetary science and human
spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.com
–www.spaceupclose.com – twitter @ken_kremer – email: ken at kenkremer.com
………….
Ken’s upcoming outreach events/photos for sale:
Learn more about the upcoming upcoming/recent
SpaceX Merah Putih & Telstar 19 launches, NASA/ULA
Parker Solar Probe, SpaceX Falcon 9/CRS-15 launch to ISS,  SES-12 comsat
launch, Falcon Heavy, TESS, GOES-S, Bangabandhu-1,
NASA missions, ULA Atlas & Delta launches, SpySats and more at Ken’s
upcoming outreach events at Kennedy Space Center Quality Inn, Titusville, FL,
evenings:
Aug
4-6
: “SpaceX Telstar 19 &
Merah Putih Launches, NASA/ULA Parker Solar Probe SpaceX Dragon CRS-15 resupply
launch to ISS, SpaceX Falcon Heavy & Falcon 9 launches, SpaceX SES-12
comsat. ULA Atlas USAF SBIRS GEO 4 missile warning satellite, SpaceX GovSat-1,
CRS-14 resupply launches to the ISS, NRO & USAF Spysats, SLS, Orion, Boeing
and SpaceX Commercial crew capsules, OSIRIS-Rex, Juno at Jupiter, InSight Mars
lander, Curiosity and Opportunity explore Mars, NH at Pluto and more,” Kennedy
Space Center Quality Inn, Titusville, FL, evenings.
Photos for sale


Ken Kremer

Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and more space and mission reports direct from Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Stay tuned here for Ken's continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news. Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics. Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events.

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