SpaceX Successfully Launches the Arabsat-6A Satellite and Lands Three Boosters

12 April, 2019, 10:47 | Author: Amos Gonzales
  • Falcon Heavy launch delayed again, now targeted for Thursday evening

Eastern time from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

SpaceX has pulled off an incredible feat, successfully recovering all three of Falcon Heavy's Block 5 boosters shortly after the rocket's commercial launch debut.

When the rocket flew past year, its two side boosters made synchronized landings on side-by-side ground pads in Florida.

The most powerful operational rocket in the world, SpaceX's Falcon Heavy, launched its first commercial mission on Thursday from Florida in a key demonstration for billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk's space company in the race to grasp lucrative military launch contracts.

Saudi Arabia-based Arabsat announced plans to launch with SpaceX in spring 2015, but at the time hadn't decided between the Falcon 9 or Falcon Heavy.

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"Three for three boosters today", a SpaceX webcast commentator said. With only one successful Falcon Heavy launch under its belt, SpaceX would rather not have to delay this second flight again, but safety is a top priority. The center core landed on a SpaceX drone ship ten minutes and 20 seconds into the mission. Each of the three cores is new, and SpaceX is counting on re-using the two side boosters for another Falcon Heavy mission as early as June-the launch of the US Air Force's Space Test Program-2 mission carrying several military and scientific research satellites. Their return was heralded by a fusillade of sonic booms. SpaceX employees at company headquarters in Southern California cheered every launch milestone and especially the three touchdowns.

Musk used his own Tesla convertible in last year's demo and the red Roadster - with a mannequin, dubbed Starman, likely still at the wheel - remains in a solar orbit stretching just past Mars. It's nearly certainly still in orbit around the sun with a mannequin at the wheel.

Falcon Heavy has already been chosen for a few contracts, including a $130 million contract to launch an Air Force satellite that was awarded just four months after its inaugural flight in February 2018. All three of the rocket's boosters safely landed on Earth; the side boosters for this launch hadn't previously been used.

The rocket is expected to be used primarily for U.S. military missions, and to launch spy satellites and hefty commercial telecom satellites.

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