Satria | Falcon 9 Block 5

Featured image credit: SpaceX
Lift Off Time

June 18, 2023 – 22:21 UTC | 18:21 EDT

Mission Name

Satria, a communications satellite

Launch Provider
(What rocket company launched it?)


(Who paid for this?)

Pasifik Satelit Nusantara


Falcon 9 Block 5, B1067-12; 35.72-day turnaround

Launch Location

Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40), Cape Canaveral Space Force Base, Florida, USA

Payload mass

~5,000 kg (~11,000 lb) (estimated)

Where did the satellites go?

Geostationary Transfer Orbit; Raise to 146-degree East Geostationary Earth Orbit

Did they attempt to recover the first stage?


Where did the first stage land?

~683 km downrange on A Shortfall of Gravitas

Tug: Doug; Support: Doug

Did they attempt to recover the fairings?

The fairing halves will be recovered from the water ~793 km downrange by Doug

Were these fairings new?

The fairings were flight proven

This was the:

– 233rd Falcon 9 launch
– 168th Falcon 9 flight with a flight-proven booster
– 174th re-flight of a booster
– 40th re-flight of a booster in 2023
– 201st booster landing
– 127th consecutive landing (a record)
– 42nd launch for SpaceX in 2023
– 129th SpaceX launch from 
– 91st orbital launch attempt of 2023

Where to watch

Official Replay

How Did It Go?

SpaceX’s Satria mission successfully launched the Satria satellite for Pasifik Satelit Nusantara atop a Falcon 9 rocket. The Falcon 9 lifted off from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40), at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, in Florida, United States. Satria was placed into a geostationary transfer orbit, where it will spend the following months raising its orbit to the 146-degree East Geostationary Earth Orbit slot.

What Is Satria?

Satria is a very high throughput communication satellite built by Thales Alenia Space for Satelit Nusantara Tiga consortium. This payload will provide 90,000 schools, 40,000 hospitals, and many other residential and governmental sites with 150 gigabit per second coverage. The satellite is built on the Spacebus-Neo-200 fully electric spacebus, which was fitted with a fifth-generation digital processor. Satria has two deployable solar arrays and batteries to power the satellite. It has an on-orbit lifespan of 15 years.

An artist’s rendering of the Satria satellite. (Credit: TAS)

What Is Falcon 9 Block 5?

The Falcon 9 Block 5 is SpaceX’s partially reusable two-stage medium-lift launch vehicle. The vehicle consists of a reusable first stage, an expendable second stage, and, when in payload configuration, a pair of reusable fairing halves.

First Stage

The Falcon 9 first stage contains 9 Merlin 1D+ sea-level engines. Each engine uses an open gas generator cycle and runs on RP-1 and liquid oxygen (LOx). Each engine produces 845 kN of thrust at sea level, with a specific impulse (ISP) of 285 seconds, and 934 kN in a vacuum with an ISP of 313 seconds. Due to the powerful nature of the engine, and the large amount of them, the Falcon 9 first stage is able to lose an engine right off the pad, or up to two later in the flight, and be able to successfully place the payload into orbit.

The Merlin engines are ignited by triethylaluminum and triethylborane (TEA-TEB), which instantly burst into flames when mixed in the presence of oxygen. During static fire and launch the TEA-TEB is provided by the ground service equipment. However, as the Falcon 9 first stage is able to propulsively land, three of the Merlin engines (E1, E5, and E9) contain TEA-TEB canisters to relight for the boost back, reentry, and landing burns.

Second Stage

The Falcon 9 second stage is the only expendable part of the Falcon 9. It contains a singular MVacD engine that produces 992 kN of thrust and an ISP of 348 seconds. The second stage is capable of doing several burns, allowing the Falcon 9 to put payloads in several different orbits.

SpaceX is currently flying two different versions of the MVacD engine’s nozzle. The standard nozzle design is used on high-performance missions. The other nozzle is a significantly shorter version of the standard, decreasing both performance and material usage; with this nozzle, the MVacD engine produces 10% less thrust in space. This nozzle is only used on lower-performance missions, as it decreases the amount of material needed by 75%. This means that SpaceX can launch over three times as many missions with the same amount of Niobium as with the longer design.

For missions with many burns and/or long coasts between burns, the second stage is able to be equipped with a mission extension package. When the second stage has this package it has a grey strip, which helps keep the RP-1 warm, an increased number of composite-overwrapped pressure vessels (COPVs) for pressurization control, and additional TEA-TEB.

Falcon 9 Block 5 launching on the Starlink V1.0 L27 mission (Credit: SpaceX)

Falcon 9 Booster

The booster that supported the Satria mission was B1067-12; as the name implies, the booster had supported 11 previous flights. Upon successful landing, its designation changed to B1067-13.

B1067’s previous missionsLaunch Date (UTC)Turnaround Time (Days)Dragon CRS-2 SpX-22June 03, 2021, 17:29N/ACrew-3November 11, 2021, 02:03160.36Türksat 5BDecember 19, 2021, 03:5838.08Crew-4April 27, 2022, 07:52129.16Dragon CRS-2 SpX-25July 15, 2022, 00:4478.70Starlink Group 4-34September 19, 2022, 00:1865.98Hotbird 13GNovember 03, 2022, 05:2245.13O3b mPOWER 1&2December 16, 2022, 22:3843.72Starlink Group 5-2January 26, 2023, 9:3240.45Starlink Group 5-5March 24, 2023 15:4357.26Starlink Group 5-9May 14, 2023 05:0350.56SatriaJune 18, 2023 22:2135.72

Following stage separation, Falcon 9 conducts two burns. These burns softly touched down the booster on SpaceX’s autonomous spaceport drone ship A Shortfall of Gravitas.

Falcon 9 landing on Of Course I Still Love You after launching Bob and Doug (Credit: SpaceX)

Falcon 9 Fairings

The Falcon 9’s fairing consists of two dissimilar reusable halves. The first half (the half that faces away from the transport erector) is called the active half, and houses the pneumatics for the separation system. The other fairing half is called the passive half. As the name implies, this half plays a purely passive role in the fairing separation process, as it relies on the pneumatics from the active half.

Both fairing halves are equipped with cold gas thrusters and a parafoil which are used to softly touch down the fairing half in the ocean. SpaceX used to attempt to catch the fairing halves, however, at the end of 2020 this program was canceled due to safety risks and a low success rate. On Satria, SpaceX attempted to recover the fairing halves from the water with its recovery vessel Doug.

In 2021, SpaceX started flying a new version of the Falcon 9 fairing. The new “upgraded” version has vents only at the top of each fairing half, by the gap between the halves, whereas the old version had vents placed spread equidistantly around the base of the fairing. Moving the vents decreases the chance of water getting into the fairing, making the chance of a successful scoop significantly higher.

An active Falcon 9 fairing half (Credit: Greg Scott)

Falcon 9 passive fairing half (Credit: Greg Scott)

Half of the fairing being taken off Go. Navigator. (Credit: Lupi)

A passive fairing half being unloaded from Shelia Bordelon after the Starlink V1.0 L22 mission (Credit: Kyle M)

Satria Countdown

All times are approximate

HR/MIN/SECEVENT00:38:00SpaceX Launch Director verifies go for propellant load00:35:00RP-1 (rocket-grade kerosene) loading underway00:35:001st stage LOX (liquid oxygen) loading underway00:16:002nd stage LOX loading underway00:07:00Falcon 9 begins engine chill prior to launch00:01:00Command flight computer to begin final prelaunch checks00:01:00Propellant tank pressurization to flight pressure begins00:00:45SpaceX Launch Director verifies go for launch00:00:03Engine controller commands engine ignition sequence to start00:00:00Falcon 9 liftoff

Satria Launch, Landing, and Deployment

HR/MIN/SECEVENT00:01:14Max Q (moment of peak mechanical stress on the rocket)00:02:331st stage main engine cutoff (MECO)00:02:371st and 2nd stages separate00:02:442nd stage engine starts (SES-1)00:03:30Fairing deployment00:06:331st stage entry burn starts00:06:541st stage entry burn ends00:08:102nd stage engine cutoff (SECO-1)00:08:281st stage landing burn start00:08:391st stage landing00:27:402nd stage engine starts (SES-2)00:28:362nd stage engine cutoff (SECO-2)00:36:47PSN SATRIA deploys

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