SpaceX Ready for 1st Re-Flight of Falcon 9 Block 5, Targets Middle-of-the-Night Launch Aug. 7: Watch Live

Sunset at Space Launch Complex-40
for
SpaceX recycled Block 5 model Falcon 9 for Merah Putih telecomsat slated
for overnight launch at 1:18 a.m. EDT on Aug, 7, 2018 on
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.  Credit:
Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

Ken Kremer 
  
SpaceUpClose.com     6 August 2018

CAPE CANAVERAL Air FORCS STATION/TITUSVILLE,
FL – SpaceX has erected their recycled rocket and is ready for the 1st
re-flight of the upgraded Block 5 model of their workhouse Falcon 9 and is targeting
a middle-of-the-night launch Tuesday, Aug. 7 from the Florida Space Coast. The
payloas is the
Merah Putih comsat for the nation
of Indonesia.
All
system are GO ! And the weather outlook is quite good at the moment Monday afternoon.  



SpaceX
will attempt to recover the booster by soft-landing off shore on a drone ship. 






I
witnessed the rocket vertical at 12:25 p.m. EDT at pad 40 on Cape Canaveral – as
seen from Titusville. Check out our Space UpClose gallery of images

SpaceX Falcon 9 raised erect on pad 40 on Aug. 6, 2018 for
Merah Putih launch on Aug. 7. Credit: Ken
Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
Liftoff
of the
Merah Putih telecommunications satellite is slated for
the dead of 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).

If you can’t be here to watch the launch in person, you can watch
the launch live on a dedicated SpaceX hosted webcast that starts about 15
minutes prior to the opening of the nominal launch window at:

spacex.com/webcast

The weather outlook is currently very good with
an 80% chance of acceptable conditions at launch time.

A back up launch opportunity exists 24 hours
later Wednesday morning in case of a delay for any reason technical or weather
related. The odds are 70% GO on Wednesday.

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

The path to launch was paved after day SpaceX engineers
successfully completed a static hot fire test today, Aug. 2, of the Falcon 9
booster flying in less than 24 hours.

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.

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

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. 

Beautiful blastoff of Bangabandhu-1 geostationary communications satellite
for nation of Bangladesh on 1st new and improved
Block 5 version of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on May 11, 2018 at 4:14 p.m. EDT from
Launch Complex 39A
at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida.
Credit: Ken
Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

This marks the first reflight of a Block 5 booster. It previously launched
as the first stage of the very first Block 5 model that launched the
Bangabandhu-1 comsat only 4 months ago in May 2018.

Beautiful blastoff of Bangabandhu-1 geostationary communications satellite
for nation of Bangladesh on 1st new and improved
Block 5 version of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on May 11, 2018 at 4:14 p.m. EDT from
Launch Complex 39A
at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida – as seen from the pad
crawlerway.
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.

I will see the booster up close soon during remote camera set up at
pad 40 and will post images online.

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


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

It was previously named Telkom-4 until recently renamed. It serves
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 Merah Putih spacecraft built by SSL. Credit: SSL

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

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 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.

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

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. 

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 last about
three seconds.

The
rocket was then 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
6/9/10/11
: “SpaceX Merah Putih &
Telstar 19v 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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