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SpaceX has made some amazing accomplishments in the past few years, all of which have been in keeping with Elon Musk’s promise to cut the costs of space exploration. And with all the excitement surrounding the Starship Hopper and its first hop tests, there was one very important accomplishment that seems to have faded into the background a little.
Luckily, SpaceX reminded everyone about it this week, as the company conducted the second successful launch of their Falcon Heavy rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. 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.
Mission - Arabsat-6 - Significance - Time - Falcon
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. This came just 14 months after the inaugural launch that saw the rocket successfully send a Tesla Roadster (with Spaceman) into orbit, followed by the retrieval of two of its boosters afterward – which pulled off a near-synchronous landing!
For its first commercial mission, the payload was a communications satellite built by Riyadh-based telecom Arab Satellite Communications Organization (Arabsat). The company selected the Falcon Heavy for this launch back in 2015 since its extra lift capability meant that the satellite could be placed in a much higher transfer orbit, which will ensure a longer service life.
Delays - Mission - Pm - PDT - Pm
After some minor delays, the mission blasted off at 03:35 p.m. PDT (06:35 p.m. EDT) from launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida – the same site where the Apollo missions all took off from. Musk tweeted about the launch of the Arabsat-6 satellite on Thursday (April 11th) at 04:10 p.m. PDT (07:10 p.m. EDT) on the company’s official twitter page, stating:
“Successful deployment of...
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