The world's most powerful rocket blasted off Thursday evening for only its second flight ever. The Arabsat satellite will deploy roughly 34 minutes after launch. Up first is this afternoon's launch of the Saudi Arabian satellite called Arabsat-6A, and it's possible SpaceX could nail all three of its rocket landings this time around. The first two side boosters managed to land eight minutes after launch, touching down nearly simultaneously (again!) on the company's concrete landing pads along the Florida coast. Landing a rocket booster back on the ground so it can be refurbished is one thing, but recovering other parts of the spacecraft, such as the nosecone fairing, helps to boost SpaceX's bottom line even more.
Luckily, SpaceX reminded everyone about it this week, as the company conducted the second successful launch of their Falcon Heavy rocket from NASA's Kennedy Space Center. For that flight, SpaceX launched CEO Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster into space, putting the Roadster on a distant path around the Sun that crosses the orbit of Mars.
The Arabsat 6A is a modern communications satellite developed by Lockheed Martin for Arabsat, an organisation founded by the Arab League in 1976 to provide telecommunications services to the region. The mission is now scheduled to launch in June 2021 on a Falcon 9 rocket.
Fans and tourists are expected to flock to the Florida Space Coast for the event, while some can catch the live broadcast on the SpaceX website.
This mission (Arabsat-6) was of particular significance since it was the first time the Falcon Heavy was being used to launch a commercial payload into orbit.
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The satellite is created to provide television, internet, telephone, and secure communications to customers in the Middle East.
The craft, named Falcon Heavy was built by the SpaceX company. Falcon Heavy's center core landed on the "Of Course I Still Love You" droneship, which was stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.
It consists of the equivalent of three Falcon 9 rockets combined, tripling its thrust.
SpaceX and Boeing are vying to send humans to space from United States soil for the first time in almost a decade under Nasa's Commercial Crew Programme.
Falcon Heavy lifted off yesterday from Cape Canaveral in Florida and successfully delivered its cargo into orbit.