SpaceX successfully lands all three Falcon Heavy boosters

14 April, 2019, 17:15 | Author: Kelly Sanders
  • SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket launches from the Kennedy Space Center

The launch took place from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center this evening.

Falcon Heavy rumbled aloft at 6:35 p.m. local time from NASA's Kennedy Space Station in Florida.

SpaceX has carried out its first commercial launch with its Falcon Heavy rocket tasked with placing a Saudi satellite in orbit. The Arabsat 6A communications satellite was built by Lockheed Martin.

Make sure you don't miss the rapturous applause from SpaceX's mission control.

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

The middle booster, after pushing the payload into space, returned almost 10 minutes later for a successful landing on SpaceX's seafaring drone ship waiting 645 kilometres off the Florida coast. The boosters will be refueled and reused.

SpaceX's launch livestream will go live approximately 20 minutes before liftoff, now scheduled for no earlier than 8pm ET (00:00 UTC, April 11). A forecast of the upper-level wind - which scrubbed yesterday's delay - isn't included in the forecast, but meteorologists track the winds ahead of the launch attempt. This is the same Falcon Heavy that launched a cherry-red Tesla into orbit, giving its driver, Starman, one of the coolest road trips in history.

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy is by far the most powerful operational rocket in the world.

The rocket is expected to be used primarily for U.S. military missions, and to launch spy satellites and hefty commercial telecom satellites. All three reusable boosters are Falcon Block 9 cores.

The Arabsat-6A mission was also a complete success for SpaceX. That will be a single Falcon 9 carrying supplies and research experiments to the International Space Station via the Dragon cargo spacecraft.

Earlier, boisterous spectators chanted along with the launch announcer who counted down the final 10 seconds before liftoff.

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 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. It's nearly certainly still in orbit around the sun with a mannequin at the wheel. By launching the used fairings on their own Starlink missions, SpaceX can effectively demonstrate the validity of this to future customers.

Weather in the Atlantic is now about as good as could be expected, with minimal waves and low winds, excellent conditions for the safe recovery of Falcon Heavy's center core - likely B1055 - and Version 2 payload fairing halves.


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