SpaceX's most powerful Falcon Heavy launches successfully on its first commercial mision
- Author: Essie Rivera Apr 15, 2019,
Apr 15, 2019, 1:11
In a Wednesday tweet, Elon Musk said that the Falcon Heavy uses the new Block 5 version of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket, which launched its initial voyage a year ago. This is the first commercial launch of the "Heavy" which is boosting the Arabsat 6 Satellite.
On Thursday, before it took off, the Falcon Heavy rocket stood on a Florida launch pad and packed the energy equivalent of a tactical nuclear weapon.
SpaceX confirmed this evening that the Arabsat-6A satellite, which will be used for communications, was successfully transferred into geosynchronous orbit. 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.
In its response, Russia's rocket and space corporation energia had announced its plans to build a super-heavy-lift launch vehicle with help of existing components in 2016. Later on Thursday, Elon Musk said that both payload fairings were recovered.
After the 2018 Falcon Heavy launch, the center core missed the drone ship when only one of three engines ignited for the final landing burn.
Since the Falcon Heavy made its debut in 2018, SpaceX has received several orders for launches, including a US$130 million contract to carry a satellite for the US Air Force.
The company, which is owned by billionaire Elon Musk, launched its Falcon Heavy rocket from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule, atop a Falcon 9 rocket, cleared its first unmanned test flight in March ahead of its crewed mission planned for July, while the first unmanned test for Boeing's Starliner capsule is slated for August on ULA's Atlas 5 rocket. This telecommunications satellite will service areas of Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. The red Roaster - with a mannequin, dubbed Starman, likely still at the wheel - remains in a solar orbit stretching just past Mars. The company launched the rocket on a test mission previous year. That launch was the biggest rocket since the Saturn era ended in the 1970s.
The Falcon Heavy platform comprises three Falcon 9 stages.