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SpaceX launches satellite to provide Internet to rural Indonesia

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches the Satria communications satellite for the government of Indonesia from Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Fla., on Sunday. Photo by Joe Marino/UPI
1 of 5 | A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches the Satria communications satellite for the government of Indonesia from Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Fla., on Sunday. Photo by Joe Marino/UPI | License Photo

June 18 (UPI) -- SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket Sunday carrying a communications satellite that will provide Internet service to Indonesia.

The rocket launched from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The launch window opened at 6:04 p.m. but liftoff was delayed by about 15 minutes due to upper level winds.

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The rocket lifted off at 6:21 p.m. with partly cloudy skies.

The launch began SpaceX's 240th mission and the 148th from the launchpad at SLC 40. The company has launched 40 missions in 2023.

The launch was streamed on YouTube.

The mission, PSN SATRIA, will place the SATRIA satellite in geosynchronous orbit, meaning it will appear to remain in the same longitudinal position as Earth rotates.

The satellite is part of a $550 million project that will see Internet speeds of 150 GB per second to previously unserved parts of Indonesia, supported by its government, SpaceFlightNow reported. The service is reserved for health and education centers as well as public WiFi access points.

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The spacecraft, located in the nose of the rocket, weighs an estimated 4.6 metric tons. It was built in France by Thales Alenia Space. It was delivered to Cape Canaveral in May.

The first stage booster has been used on 11 previous missions, including four Starlink missions. It was recovered by a droneship in the Atlantic Ocean about 8 minutes after launch. It was the 212th recovery of an orbital-class rocket.

The PSN SATRIA satellite was planned to deploy at about 36 minutes after liftoff.

Many people in the least developed countries of the world still lack Internet access. SpaceX has been providing high-speed, low-latency broadband Internet to about 1.5 million customers worldwide with a 4,000-strong "constellation" of low-Earth-orbit satellites.

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