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

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

Arabsat needs SpaceX to send its Arabsat-6A communications satellite into Earth orbit, and SpaceX wants to make good on its promise that the Falcon Heavy can fulfill a commercial need. "Three for three boosters today on Falcon Heavy, what an fantastic accomplishment".

Falcon Heavy vaulted a pricey communications satellite into orbit for Saudi Arabia-based Arabsat.

Prime viewing spots were packed with tourists and locals eager to catch not just the launch but the rare and dramatic return of the twin boosters, accompanied by sonic booms.

The Falcon Heavy rocket exerts 5.1 million pounds of thrust - that of more than a dozen jetliners, SpaceX said. But everything went exceedingly well and the satellite ended up in the proper orbit.

"The Falcons have landed", SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted.

Falcon Heavy's debut flight previous year attracted massive attention, in part because CEO Elon Musk chose to launch his own luxury Tesla Roadster as the test payload.

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SpaceX and Boeing Co are vying to send humans to space from US soil for the first time in almost a decade under NASA's Commercial Crew Program.

In Falcon Heavy's first launch, in February 2018, a dummy dubbed Starman was placed behind the wheel of Musk's roadster, which is now orbiting the Sun somewhere between Earth and Mars.

A couple dozen ground telescopes kept tabs on the auto during its first several days in space, but it gradually faded from view as it headed out toward the orbit of Mars, Giorgini noted. The company selected Falcon Heavy in September for a mission anticipated in late 2017 or 2018. 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. But the preferred method remains NASA's own Space Launch System mega rocket - if it can be ready by then. The Falcon Heavy is essentially three of those single rockets strapped together.

"Three for three boosters today", a SpaceX webcast commentator said.

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.