SpaceX Lands Falcon Heavy

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																	SpaceX pulled off an incredible feat in its second Falcon Heavy launch					
								
			
	
		Mike Wehner

Science SpaceX pulled off an incredible feat in its second Falcon Heavy launch Mike Wehner

It's been fourteen months since Falcon Heavy's maiden launch, when it blasted off to become the most powerful rocket in use today. But what was especially impressive this time around is the fact that they managed to retrieve all three of the Falcon Heavy's rocket boosters, as well as the payload fairings.

SpaceX launches Falcon Heavy and lands all three rocket boosters for the first time.

This mission (Arabsat-6) was of particular significance since it was the first time the Falcon Heavy was being used to launch a commercial payload into orbit. The rocket landed successfully, completing a triple landing for SpaceX during the Arabsat 6A satellite launch on April 11, 2019.

The spaceship delivered a communication satellite into orbit for Saudi company, Arabsat.

Thursday's launch, which had to be postponed from the day before due to weather conditions, is the second since the initial trip in February 2018, when Falcon Heavy made a test flight with as dummy payload a Tesla electric roadster sent into deep space with a mannequin dressed in a space suit, which they called "Starman", in the driver's seat.

The Falcon Heavy's two side boosters gracefully lower themselves onto the landing zones at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

This was followed two minutes later by the core booster landing at sea aboard the company's droneship, Of Course I Still Love You, which was parked at sea 990 km (615 miles) off the coast of Cape Canaveral.

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At take-off, the Falcon Heavy soared from NASA's Kennedy Space Center, using the same launch pad that shot Apollo astronauts to the Moon 50-years-ago.

Unfortunately, all previous attempts had failed and the fairings landed in the ocean.

This successful mission follows last year's first launch - a test that saw billionaire SpaceX boss Elon Musk send his own auto into orbit.

The payload fairings are clam shell-like nose cone halves that protect the craft's payload.

The next step is to put the fairings to work again on a Falcon 9 rocket that will blast additional Starlink satellites into orbit, scheduled for later this year.

The latest launch marked the first time Falcon Heavy flies using the new Block 5 hardware, which is created to last longer than previous versions without the need for refurbishment.

SpaceX and Boeing Co are also vying to send humans to space from USA soil for the first time in almost a decade under NASA's Commercial Crew Program. These boosters have been part of the Falcon 9 rocket for nearly a year and offer better thrust, improved landing legs and other features that make retrieval easier.

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