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SpaceX, a company known for manufacturing and deploying spacecraft and providing satellite communications, has successfully launched a new Indonesian communications satellite as part of a project called SATRIA.

The project, which costs US$550 million, aims to provide high-speed internet access to schools, medical centers and public and government facilities across Indonesia. The satellite is designed to improve broadband access across thousands of islands in the country's vast archipelago.

While approximately two-thirds of Indonesia’s 280 million population already uses the internet, connectivity is limited in the country’s underdeveloped eastern islands. The satellite launch took place on June 18.

Thales Alenia Space, a company that provides space-based systems such as satellites and ground segments for various telecommunications and exploration purposes, built a satellite. The satellite will use ion thrusters to circularize its orbit at an altitude of approximately 35,888 kilometers above the equator at 126 degrees east longitude.

According to the news, satellites at this geosynchronous altitude take 24 hours to complete one orbit, which allows them to rotate in sync with the Earth and appear stationary in the sky. This feature enables the use of fixed antennas on the ground, which simplifies the infrastructure required to send and receive data. The satellite is expected to operate for at least 15 years.

The SATRIA project is a public-private partnership between the Indonesian government and a consortium led by satellite operator PT Pasifik Satelit Nusantara (PSN).

The launch of SATRIA has already received a lot of media attention, which is not surprising considering the impressive statistics. SATRIA has a throughput of 150 gigabytes per second and will connect almost 94,000 schools, nearly 50,000 village offices, various government facilities and thousands of hospitals and medical facilities across Indonesia, the fourth most populous country in the world.

Before SATRIA, Indonesia relied on five domestic communication satellites and four foreign relay stations, which only provided a combined 50 gigabytes of telecommunications bandwidth. SATRIA can provide more than three times the current national capacity.

Furthermore, the CEO of PSN, Adi Rahman Adiwoso, stated that SATRIA has the potential to bridge the digital divide in Indonesia.

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