Published: Mon, April 15, 2019
Sci-tech | By April Francis

SpaceX Launches ArabSat-6A on Falcon Heavy Rocket

SpaceX Launches ArabSat-6A on Falcon Heavy Rocket

The second most powerful rocket in the United States - the Delta IV Heavy - can send more than 63,000 pounds to the same location.

"Successful deployment of Arabsat-6A to geosynchronous transfer orbit confirmed-completing Falcon Heavy's first commercial mission!" .

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.

The US Air Force tapped SpaceX previous year to launch a classified military satellite for US$130 million (S$176 million), and in February added three missions in a US$297 million contract.

Musk also indicated that the hardware appeared to be undamaged and will be used again later this year to launch some of SpaceX's Starlink global broadband satellites.

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

The bright white rocket rose with a roar and spewed thick gray smoke on the ground as it made its way up into clear blue skies over Cape Canaveral, Florida, trailing a long plume of orange fire.

The company even constructed a boat with a massive net attached, affectionately called Mr. Steven, to try to recover the fairings. Check back then to see if SpaceX can pull off a triple landing this time. This same principle has informed the mission architecture behind the BFR system, which consists of the reusable Starship spacecraft and the Super Heavy launch vehicle.

Ultimately, NASA decided that it would stick with the SLS to perform the mission, but Bridenstine noted that the Falcon Heavy could become a part of NASA's long-term plans in the future.

Speaking about the launch from the Cape Canaveral air force base, Khaled bin Ahmed Balkheyour, President & CEO of Arabsat said: "We are thankful for the successful launch of the 6A satellite as it was challenging for us and SpaceX because it is the first largest and heaviest satellite lifted by SpaceX on the most powerful rocket in operation today". This is in response to VP Mike Pence's call for NASA to land astronauts on the surface of the Moon by 2024, "by any means necessary".

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