SpaceX Successfully Launches Falcon Heavy For Its First Commercial Mission

in news •  7 days ago

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It seems like SpaceX is powering through with its mission to transform space exploration by making it much more accessible and affordable. Today was another step in that direction.

At 22:35 UTC, SpaceX successfully launched the most powerful rocket in the world right now, the Falcon Heavy, for its first commercial mission, delivering the Arabsat-6A satellite into orbit.

The Arabsat-6A is a large communcations satellite, weighing in at 6000 kg (13227.74 pounds), that will broadcast cell phone, TV and internet signals to people in Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

This is only the second launch (overall) of the Falcon Heavy. The last one, that took place on February 6, 2018, was a demo mission which sent Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster car with a mannequin named Starman which is still adrift in space right now. You can track its position here if you want to.

Replay of the Arabsat-6A mission

What is so exciting about the way SpaceX is doing things is that it is making rockets reusable, meaning the same rockets can be used for future missions. That's exactly how airplanes have become a sustainable mode of transportation. The same airplane can be used for years and for tens of thousands of flights.

We are witnessing the same reusability being developed for rockets right now and SpaceX is certainly one of the leaders in this space (pun very intended). The Falcon Heavy consists of two Falcon 9 first stage boosters and a main, central core Falcon 9 booster.

The two side boosters touched down at the landing pads at Cape Canaveral and the central booster landed on a droneship in the Atlantic ocean, named "Of course I still love you". The two side boosters will be used for an upcoming mission in June.

During the first demo mission of the Falcon Heavy, the two side boosters landed safely but the central core missed the drone ship. So, today's successful launch is a very big step for SpaceX and the future of space exploration.

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