Elon Musk's SpaceX sends world's most powerful rocket on first commercial flight

Apr 15, 2019, 01:13
Elon Musk's SpaceX sends world's most powerful rocket on first commercial flight

Note that also yesterday, SpaceX postponed the launch of the carrier rocket Falcon Heavy. This is the first commercial launch of the "Heavy" which is boosting the Arabsat 6 Satellite.

The space company's success comes a year after sending up a sports auto on the initial test flight.

Weather looks good this evening for SpaceX's scheduled launch of its Falcon Heavy rocket from Kennedy Space Center.

Roughly three minutes after clearing the pad, Heavy's two side boosters separated from the core rocket for a synchronized landing at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, sparking boisterous cheers from SpaceX engineers in the company's Hawthorne, California headquarters.

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The latest news is that the Falcon Heavy's payload, the Saudi Arabian Arabsat-6A heavy communications satellite, has detached in the desired orbit thereby qualifying the mission as a success. While SpaceX has successfully recovered the booster stages before, this is the first time that it also successfully recovered the core stage.

"Three for three boosters today", a SpaceX webcast commentator said.

Mr Musk shared photos of the landing on Twitter, saying: "The Falcons have landed".

The rocket is expected to be used primarily for USA military missions, and to launch spy satellites and hefty commercial telecom satellites. In the 2018 test mission, Heavy's core booster missed the vessel and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean. The red Roadster - with a mannequin at the wheel - remains in a solar orbit stretching just past Mars. This was a success following SpaceX's water landing in a similar maneuver previous year.

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The satellite will be deployed approximately 34 minutes after liftoff. One of the best traits of Falcon 9 is the reusability since the first stage of the rocket will always return to Earth.

On Falcon Heavy's maiden voyage into space in February 2018, an estimated 100,000 visitors came to watch.

"Arabsat-6A is a high-capacity telecommunications satellite that will deliver television, radio, Internet, and mobile communications to customers in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe", SpaceX said in a Arabsat-6A mission description.

Last night, around 11.51pm United Kingdom time, SpaceX founder Elon Musk, 47, confirmed the two side boosters landed at Cape Canaveral.

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