SpaceX is going to try to launch its Falcon Heavy yet again

James Marshall
December 5, 2019

The satellite, operated by Saudi Arabian firm Arabsat, is created to "deliver television, radio, Internet, and mobile communications to customers in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe", according to a statement.

SpaceX accomplished its primary mission of launching the Arabsat-6A telecommunication satellite late this afternoon from famed Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The Falcon-Heavy rocket was launched at 22:35 (GMT) 11th April 2019, carrying Arabsat 6A satellite, manufactured by Lockheed Martin, to be placed in the exclusive orbit of Arabsat 30.5 degrees East.

SpaceX has successfully landed all three of its Falcon Heavy boosters back on Earth for the first time. When Arabsat announced the contracts in 2015, it said at the time that it planned to launch the Arabsat 6A satellite aboard Falcon Heavy.

Because this was an upgraded version of the rocket with unproven changes, SpaceX chief Elon Musk cautioned in advance things might go wrong.

No word on whether SpaceX caught or attempted to catch the fairings that covered the payload during launch - we may hear about this later, depending on whether it's a success or not.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine last month suggested possibly using a Falcon Heavy - and another company's big rocket - to get the space agency's Orion capsule around the moon, minus a crew, in 2020.

"The Falcons have landed", Musk tweeted. SpaceX typically launches Falcon 9 rockets.

Thursday's launch was SpaceX's second flight with the Falcon Heavy rocket, which had its first demo mission in February 2018.

Last year, SpaceX was able to land two of the Falcon Heavy's boosters, with the third one crashing into the ocean at 300 miles per hour.

SpaceX and Boeing Co are vying to send humans to space from USA soil for the first time in almost a decade under NASA's Commercial Crew Program. If successful, Arabsat will reportedly become the first operator in the region for satellite capacities and services.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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