SpaceX to Launch Indonesia's Newest Satellite this Week

SpaceX to Launch Indonesia's Newest Satellite this Week

SpaceX is planning to launch its fifteenth mission of the year on Tuesday, Aug. 7. As has been the case with several of the flights successfully carried out in 2018, this week’s planned launch is set to send a communications satellite to orbit.

The payload for this flight is the Merah Putih geostationary communications satellite. Formerly known as Telkom-4, it was constructed by SSL. Upon reaching orbit and after its various systems have been checked, PT Telkom Indonesia will manage the satellite’s operations. PT Telkom Indonesia Indonesia is the largest telecommunication and network provider in Indonesia.

Designed to replace the Telkom-1 satellite, Merah Putih’s name reflects the red and white Indonesian flag. Once it has been incorporated into Telkom’s network, it is hoped it will service the 17 thousand islands that constitute the Indonesian archipelago. Its scope and range isn’t limited to Indonesia however. South and Southeast Asia could also benefit from the satellite’s deployment.

The Merah Putih satellite. Photo Credit: SSL
The Merah Putih satellite. Photo Credit: SSL

“The construction of the Red and White Satellite involves two U.S. companies, namely SSL as a manufacturer of Satellite and SpaceX as a satellite launch service provider. SSL is a leading satellite manufacturing and has successfully completed the Merah Putih Satellite construction ahead of schedule. Furthermore, the Red and White Satellite will be launched towards its orbit slot using SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Rocket,” the Vice President of Corporate Communication’s at Telkom, Arif Prabowo, said on

Merah Putih is designed to be just one component in a network meant to open new telephone and internet markets. Telkom Indonesia will need this addition to its fleet to provide services to the more than an estimated 130 million consumers who use the company’s networks.

Based on the SSL-1300 satellite platform, Merah Putih comes equipped with 60 C-band transponders. Thirty-six of these will be tasked with providing services to the Southeast Asia markets with the remainder planned for use in the Indian market.

Merah Putih is needed to replace the Telkom-1 spacecraft (which was launched on August 4, 1999), at the 108 degree East slot.

“Satellite plays a vital role in our telecommunications infrastructure,” Zulhelfi Abidin, Chief Technology Officer of Telkom said via a statement posted on Cision PR Newswire. “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.”

If successful, the flight of Merah Putih will see SpaceX’s 2018 launch tally reach 15. This constitutes more launches than the Hawthorne, California-based company carried out between 2010 and 2014 (the NewSpace company conducted 14 launches during those years) combined. In fact, so far in 2018 SpaceX has reached a launch tally of almost a quarter of the missions it has flown since the first Falcon 9 rocket lifted off on June 4, 2010.

In terms of the upcoming Merah Putih mission, the Falcon 9 Block 5 will use the B1046.2 first stage, which was first used to send the Bangabandhu-1 satellite to orbit on May 11, 2018.

As of the previous mission, that of Iridium NEXT flight 7 on July 25 (from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California), some 14 first stages have been launched, recovered, re-serviced – and flown again.

Tuesday’s flight is slated to take to Florida’s skies at 1:18 a.m. EDT (05:18 GMT), lifting of from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) in Florida.


Akhyari Hananto

I began my career in the banking industry in 1997, and stayed approx 6 years in it. This industry boost his knowledge about the economic condition in Indonesia, both macro and micro, and how to More understand it. My banking career continued in Yogyakarta when I joined in a program funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB),as the coordinator for a program aimed to help improve the quality of learning and teaching process in private universities in Yogyakarta. When the earthquake stroke Yogyakarta, I chose to join an international NGO working in the area of ?disaster response and management, which allows me to help rebuild the city, as well as other disaster-stricken area in Indonesia. I went on to become the coordinator for emergency response in the Asia Pacific region. Then I was assigned for 1 year in Cambodia, as a country coordinator mostly to deliver developmental programs (water and sanitation, education, livelihood). In 2009, he continued his career as a protocol and HR officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Surabaya, and two years later I joined the Political and Economic Section until now, where i have to deal with extensive range of people and government officials, as well as private and government institution troughout eastern Indonesia. I am the founder and Editor-in-Chief in Good News From Indonesia (GNFI), a growing and influential social media movement, and was selected as one of The Most Influential Netizen 2011 by The Marketeers magazine. I also wrote a book on "Fundamentals of Disaster Management in 2007"?, "Good News From Indonesia : Beragam Prestasi Anak Bangsa di dunia"? which was luanched in August 2013, and "Indonesia Bersyukur"? which is launched in Sept 2013. In 2014, 3 books were released in which i was one of the writer; "Indonesia Pelangi Dunia"?, "Indonesia The Untold Stories"? and "Growing! Meretas Jalan Kejayaan" I give lectures to students in lectures nationwide, sharing on full range of issues, from economy, to diplomacy Less
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