SpaceX Launches Mega Rocket, Successfully Lands All Boosters

This still image from video courtesy of SpaceX shows the SpaceX Falcon Heavy Rocket lifting off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida

For SpaceX, the addition of the large and reusable Falcon Heavy to its launch business gives the company the ability to bid on heavier payloads than it can with the smaller Falcon 9 rocket, opening up the market for big commercial satellites launches and national security missions.

The 23-storey-tall rocket, which previously launched Musk's cherry-red Tesla roadster to space in a 2018 debut test flight, blasted off from Florida's Kennedy Space Centre carrying its first customer payload - a communications satellite called Arabsat. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said back on April 5 that because this is the first launch of Falcon Heavy's Block 5, the latest and most powerful version of its boosters, they are being "extra cautious". During the rocket's first launch in 2018, the side boosters made it, but the center core missed its drone ship landing.

The satellite will be deployed approximately 34 minutes after liftoff. As usual, the live stream will include commentary from SpaceX staff, along with details about the mission and status of the spacecraft.

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The Falcon Heavy differs from the Falcon 9 rocket. "Three for three boosters today on Falcon Heavy, what an unbelievable accomplishment".

In Falcon Heavy's first launch, in February 2018, a dummy dubbed Starman was placed behind the wheel of Musk's roadster, which is now orbiting the Sun somewhere between Earth and Mars.

The satellite SpaceX will launch on Wednesday will update satellite coverage for Arabsat, which is based in Riyadh and delivers hundreds of television channels and radio stations to homes across the Middle East and North Africa.

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Since then, the USA military and private clients have signed contracts for Falcon Heavy launches, and NASA has raised the possibility it may use the rocket for its planned missions to the Moon.

The rocket is expected to be used primarily for U.S. military missions, and to launch spy satellites and hefty commercial telecom satellites. Before the rocket finally launched more than two years later, Musk suggested to several news outlets, including CNN, that the rocket could explode. Falcon Heavy only has five missions on its manifest so far.

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