SpaceX's Falcon Heavy completes first commercial launch

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy completes first commercial launch

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy completes first commercial launch

New launch vehicles are being tested by SpaceX's numerous competitors, but Falcon Heavy has the advantage of already existing and working as designed. Another important distinction: All three of the Falcon Heavy boosters returned safely to Earth.

Falcon Heavy rumbled aloft at 6:35 p.m. local time from NASA's Kennedy Space Station in Florida.

About eight minutes after liftoff, the reusable rocket's two side boosters landed back on ground near the launch center, showed SpaceX's live broadcast.

Landing rockets has become routine for SpaceX. The California-based company was founded by Elon Musk in 2002.

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.

The successful launch and landing were cheered on by USA space agency NASA, which congratulated the California-based rocket manufacturer.

The middle booster, after pushing the payload into space, returned almost 10 minutes later for a successful landing on SpaceX's seafaring drone ship 400 miles (645 km) off the Florida coast.

"From our iconic launch pads at @NASAKennedy, we will continue to support the growing commercial space economy".

This is the same launched astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin took off from towards the Moon in 1969.

The SpaceX launch blasted off on Thursday with the Falcon Heavy carrying a 6,000kg Saudi Arabian communications satellite into orbit.

About 34 minutes after takeoff, the satellite was successfully deployed.

Lockheed Martin built the satellite, along with a second one, for Arabsat as part of a batch of contracts worth $650 million.

The Roadster could still look much the same as it did for the February 6, 2018, launch, just not as shiny with perhaps some chips and flakes from the extreme temperature swings, according to Giorgini.

Musk put his own Tesla convertible on last year's demo.

The sports auto and its dummy pilot, dubbed Starman, are now cruising through space on an incredible voyage.

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