SpaceX launches mega rocket, lands all 3 boosters

Katie Ramirez
April 12, 2019

SpaceX wants to compete with its arch rival in the lucrative business of launching ultra-heavy satellites into space.

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy launch was delayed again yesterday, this time due to high winds. As SpaceX explains on its website, this vehicle is the most powerful (operational) rocket now in existence.

Balkheyour said Arabsat chose the Falcon Heavy in order to extend the lifespan of the Arabsat-6A satellite beyond the 15 years a geostationary communications satellite is typically created to last.

The launch took place from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center this evening. It said in a tweet that the next launch opportunity is Thursday. It was the first time the company had landed all three boosters for Falcon Heavy.

Falcon Heavy is created to launch large commercial payloads into high orbits, take on heavy-duty national security missions and potentially power interplanetary missions as well.

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At high speeds and at high altitude, it would transition to full rocket mode, combining the fuel with the oxygen carried inside. A "Spaceplane" that travels 25 times faster than the speed of sound has successfully passed a crucial testing milestone.

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.

The rocket is expected to be used primarily for U.S. military missions, and to launch spy satellites and hefty commercial telecom satellites. That mission was more of a test than anything else, with head man Elon Musk deciding to send his own Tesla as the rocket's payload. It's nearly certainly still in orbit around the sun with a mannequin at the wheel.

Thousands of people came to SpaceX's launch site in Florida to watch the spectacle. It has three rocket boosters, which are strapped together during launch and are created to then break apart and make pinpoint landings back on Earth. As in a previous test performance, the twin side boosters eased themselves to touchdown at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station without incident, while, in a SpaceX first, the center core rocket also landed safely - by guiding itself to the deck of an offshore drone vessel in the Atlantic Ocean.

Completed less than 35 minutes after launch, this mission included a wealth of major events and firsts, including the first launch of Falcon Heavy Block 5, the first successful triple booster recovery, and one of the highest orbital apogees yet seen during a SpaceX mission - 90,000 km (55,500 mi) above Earth.

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