Falcon Heavy sends first commercial satellite into orbit

Enlarge Image The SpaceX Falcon Heavy sits on the launchpad in Florida.                  SpaceX

Enlarge / The Falcon Heavy fires its 27 engines on the way to space. This is the first commercial launch of the "Heavy" which is boosting the Arabsat 6 Satellite.

Back in February 2018, the test payload was SpaceX CEO Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster with a mannequin nicknamed Starman in the driver's seat. The side boosters landed nearly simultaneously at Landing Zones 1 and 2, and the center stage came back down shortly after that on the drone ship "Of Course I Still Love You".

Falcon Heavy carried a communications satellite forSaudi-based telecom firm Arabsat, which will beam internet and television services over Africa, Europe and the Middle East. But even more spectacularly, all three stages of the rocket successfully returned to Earth just minutes after launch, proving the Flacon Heavy's reliability. The modernised LM 2100 includes several innovations that make the satellite more powerful, more flexible and more versatile in orbit.

"The Falcons have landed", Musk said in a tweet that included pictures of all three boosters.

Until SpaceX came along, rocket boosters were usually discarded in the ocean after satellite launches.

More news: Trump Considers Daughter Ivanka To Lead World Bank

The Arabsat 6A Satellite - the last of Arabsat's sixth generation satellites - was successfully launched yesterday morning by Elon Musk's SpaceX Falcon Heavy, from Cape Canaveral in Florida, USA.

The satellite will be deployed approximately 34 minutes after liftoff.

Both rocket fairings from the two Falcons were recovered in the ocean, which the SpaceX boss said will be reused at a later date for future SpaceX missions. It was less than four years ago when it completed the first successful Falcon 9 landing on a Cape Canaveral launch pad.

On that first voyage, however, the core stage failed to land on the Atlantic landing platform and instead plunged into the sea at a speed of more than 480 km per hour.

The launch systems are aimed at ending United States reliance on Russian Soyuz rockets for $80 million-per-seat rides to the $100 billion orbital research laboratory, which flies about 250 miles above the earth.

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