The world’s most powerful functional rocket Falcon Heavy has launched by Elon Musk’s SpaceX as it’s first commercial mission on Thursday from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center carrying its first customer payload.
Carrying a communication satellite the 23-story-tall Heavy rocket blasted in the atmosphere which previously launched Musk’s cherry red Tesla roadster to space in a 2018 debut test flight.
“T plus 33 seconds into flight, under the power of 5.1 million pounds of thrust, Falcon Heavy is headed to space,” said John Insprucker, SpaceX launch commentator on a livestream.
Roughly 3 mins after clearing the pad, Heavy’s two side boosters separated from the middle rocket for a synchronized landing at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, sparking boisterous cheers from SpaceX engineers within the corporation’s Hawthorne, California headquarters.
“When Falcon Heavy lifts off in 2018, it will be the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two,” said the company about the rocket.
According to Musk’s statement, the three rocket boosters will be refurbished and re-fly in another Falcon Heavy mission this summer to carry a swarm of military and science satellites for the Air Force.
Arabsat-6A is a roughly 13,200-pound satellite built by Lockheed Martin.
It’s designed to “deliver television, radio, Internet, and mobile communications to customers in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe,” said the SpaceX press kit.
The mission will mark the beginning of commercial operations for the Falcon Heavy, the upgraded version of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket.
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