SpaceX Successfully Launches Falcon Heavy, Lands All Three Boosters

Katie Ramirez
December 5, 2019

The satellite, operated by Saudi Arabian firm Arabsat, is created to "deliver television, radio, Internet, and mobile communications to customers in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe", according to a statement.

Falcon soared into the sky with a satellite called Arabsat, communication sat, which is the rocket's first customer.

The Falcon Heavy is created to loft into low-Earth orbit up to 140,000 pounds - more than any American rocket has been able to carry since NASA's Saturn V, which took Apollo astronauts to the moon in the 1960s and '70s. Eight minutes after takeoff, SpaceX landed two of the first-stage boosters side-by-side back at the Florida site, while the core booster landed two minutes later on an ocean platform offshore, Fox News noted.

A Falcon Heavy rocket lofts Arabsat's 6A satellite from Kennedy Space Centre. When Arabsat announced the contracts in 2015, it said at the time that it planned to launch the Arabsat 6A satellite aboard Falcon Heavy. 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.

About two minutes later, its center core landed successfully on the "Of Course I Still Love You" droneship in the Atlantic Ocean.

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Landing rockets has become routine for SpaceX.

NASA tweeted: "Congratulations to @SpaceX on today's successful launch and landing of the Falcon Heavy rocket!"

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine last month suggested possibly using a Falcon Heavy - and another company's big rocket - to get the space agency's Orion capsule around the moon, minus a crew, in 2020.

The Falcon Heavy made its maiden flight on February 6, 2018.

The so-called Arabsat 6A satellite was placed into an equatorial orbit some 22,000 miles (36,000km) above the Earth.

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