CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION — A SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket rumbled early into the heavens Tuesday morning as it launched an Indonesian communications satellite into orbit.
- Satellite will enhance phone, internet services to 17,000 islands
- Next mission is United Launch Alliance sending NASA probe to sun's atmosphere
- See the next space launch schedule here
- SEE BELOW: Falcon 9 launch of Merah Putiah satellite ▼
At 1:18 a.m. from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Falcon 9 rocket roared off launch pad 40.
On board was Merah Putih, a communications satellite for Indonesia.
"This satellite will play an important role in enhancing telephone and internet service for Indonesian's 17,000 islands," said Lauren Lyons, systems certification engineer for SpaceX.
SpaceX upgraded its Falcon 9 rocket earlier this year and launched the booster back in May.
"Once we recover this booster, we plan to fly it a third time later this year," Lyons said.
SpaceX's goal is the rapid reusability of its rockets to drive down the cost of launches. Its upgraded rocket allows the company to reuse a first-stage booster 10 times or more.
As the satellite headed to space, the first stage used grid fins and thrusters to land on a floating ship, nearly 400 miles off the Florida cost.
The booster will be brought back to Port Canaveral and prepared for its next launch.
SpaceX's chief competitor on the Space Coast, United Launch Alliance, has its own launch planned for this weekend.
A 65-minute launch window opens up at 3:33 a.m. on Saturday.