Falcon Heavy completes its first commericial mission

April 12, 2019

 

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket successfully lifted off from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, carrying the ArabSat 6A payload for ArabSat.

 

Falcon Heavy launched at 6:35pm EDT flying off the pad on its way out of the atmosphere. The rocket performed nominally without any issues and delivered the satellite successfully into its intended orbit. This is the first time that SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket completed a launch for a customer, which opened the door to being a reliable rocket. 

 

 Both side boosters of Falcon Heavy successfully flew back on a guided descent back to the Cape and sticking the landing on both landing zones, sending booms across the surrounding area. The center core has also successfully landed* on the droneship, Of Course I Still Love You, allowing all 3 boosters to be reflown for the next missions. 

 

Also recovered on this mission, are the payload fairings. They were fished out of the Atlantic Ocean after being separated from the second stage shortly after second stage ignition. These fairings will be used on the Starlink launch later this year. 

 

*Edit: The Falcon Heavy center core was unable to be secured onto the droneship by the crew due to rough seas and it tipped over and is no longer intact. The "roomba" they use to secure Falcon 9's to the droneship isn't fitted to secure the center core to the droneship just yet. Crew safety comes before core recovery.

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