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

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

The launch from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida marked the first functional use of the Falcon Heavy, which took the Saudi Arabsat-6A communications satellite into orbit a year after carrying one of Elon Musk's Tesla roadsters along for an attention-getting test launch.

Roughly three minutes after clearing the pad, the rocket's two side boosters separated from the core rocket for a synchronized landing at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, sparking boisterous cheers from SpaceX headquarters. Last year, SpaceX recovered two Falcon Heavy boosters on land but narrowly missed landing the third on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean. SpaceX then recovered all three of the boosters back on Earth, achieving a feat it wasn't able to pull off in the rocket's demonstration flight previous year.

Falcon Heavy carried a communications satellite for Saudi-based telecom firm Arabsat, which will beam internet and television services over Africa, Europe and the Middle East.


SpaceX said it would try again Thursday evening. The roads were also jammed for Wednesday night's launch attempt, which was scuttled by high wind. SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule, atop a Falcon 9 rocket, cleared its first unmanned test flight in March ahead of its crewed mission planned for July, while the first unmanned test for Boeing's Starliner capsule is slated for August on ULA's Atlas 5 rocket.

Until SpaceX came along, boosters were discarded in the ocean after satellite launches.

Although the Falcon Heavy has proven itself flight-worthy, this is still just the second launch of a rocket with a staggering 27 engines, so there is definitely some uncertainty.


With a combination of reusability, affordability, and performance unlikely to be matched for a minimum of 2+ years, SpaceX and its Falcon Heavy rocket have the opportunity to create an entirely new market in the coming years.

However, with Musk's company intent on driving down launch costs by recycling rocket parts, the boosters for this flight may be re-used for future missions. The red Roadster - with a mannequin at the wheel - remains in a solar orbit stretching just past Mars. Although SpaceX has made "many good design improvements" from the rocket that launched 14 months ago, Musk said there is a 5 to 10 percent chance of failure with this mission.


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