SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket’s Arabsat-6A satellite launch was a success


That's the only part of the first mission that missed.

Spectators watch from Jetty Park as booster rocket engines approach landing pads, after a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket, carrying the Arabsat 6A communications satellite, lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., April 11, 2019.

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. Last year's test flight put a sports auto - Musk's own Tesla - convertible into space. The red Roadster - with a mannequin, dubbed Starman, likely still at the wheel - remains in a solar orbit stretching just past Mars. A huge cloud of exhaust went up from the three Falcon 9 rocket cores that were yoked together to provide more than 5 million pounds of liftoff thrust.

Falcon Heavy's debut flight previous year attracted massive attention, in part because CEO Elon Musk made a decision to launch his own luxury Tesla Roadster as the test payload. The core booster is shooting for an ocean platform.

A couple dozen ground telescopes kept tabs on the vehicle during its first several days in space, but it gradually faded from view as it headed out toward the orbit of Mars, Giorgini noted.

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SpaceX has several paying customers committed to flying on Falcon Heavy, including Inmarsat, Viastat and Arabsat, according to its launch manifest. The boosters for that flight may be recycled from this one.

SpaceX has two operational rockets: the Falcon 9, which with 21 launches in 2018 dominates the United States market, and the Falcon Heavy, which as its name suggests is created to lift much heavier payloads into more distant orbits.

Bridenstine said everything is on the space table as NASA strives to meet the White House's goal of landing astronauts back on the moon by 2024.

The YouTube window below will go live shortly before the launch window opens, assuming SpaceX doesn't push it back at the last minute.

Until SpaceX came along, rocket boosters were usually discarded in the ocean after satellite launches. 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. The company is intent on driving down launch costs by recycling rocket parts.