SpaceX successfully lands all three Falcon Heavy boosters


This flight followed the first Falcon Heavy test launch in 2018 and involved the Arabsat-6A, a Saudi Arabian communications satellite.

At 34 minutes after takeoff, the Arabsat-6A satellite was deployed to orbit in what was the Falcon Heavy's first commercial mission.

The Falcon Heavy had been scheduled to lift off from the Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday but was delayed because of fierce winds in the upper atmosphere.

Eight minutes after liftoff, SpaceX landed two of the first-stage boosters back at Cape Canaveral, in the United States side by side, just like it did for the rocket's debut a year ago. But the takeoff also demonstrated, for the first time, that all three of the craft's reusable rockets could successfully pilot themselves back to Earth outside of a testing scenario.

Eight minutes after liftoff, SpaceX lands two of the first-stage boosters side by side at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral. That's the only part of the first mission that missed. Its initial test flight, conducted in February of 2018, sent the Tesla Roadster that belonged to the company's CEO and Founder, Elon Musk sent into a heliocentric orbit. The vehicle, which was carrying a space-suited mannequin nicknamed Starman, was vaulted into outer space and is expected to orbit the sun for the foreseeable future.

All other SpaceX vessels - GO Searcher, GO Navigator, tugboat Hollywood, and drone ship OCISLY - will, however, be directly involved in this recovery attempt.

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"Three for three boosters today", a SpaceX webcast commentator said. As with past launches, SpaceX livestreamed the launch; the video is available to watch any time below.

The satellite was constructed for the Saudi Arabian company by United States contractor Lockheed Martin.

Musk's casual mentions of a potential explosion spooked Arabsat executives, according to Bloomberg.

NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine last month suggested possibly using a Falcon Heavy - and another company's big rocket - to get the space agency's Orion capsule around the Moon in 2020, minus a crew.

Though Falcon Heavy's inaugural launch ultimately went off without a hitch, SpaceX will now have to repeat that success with the added risk of carrying a multimillion dollar satellite.