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SpaceX: Falcon Heavy rocket launch and landing

13 April 2019

As shown in the video below, the rocket's two side boosters landed successfully at SpaceX's Landing Zones 1 and 2 at Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. 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.

After a successful launch that delivered the Arabsat-6A satellite into its planned orbit, SpaceX also succeeded in landing all three of the boosters for their Falcon Heavy rocket - a first for the private space company.

The latest launch marked the first time Falcon Heavy flies using the new Block 5 hardware, which is created to last longer than previous versions without the need for refurbishment.

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It appears that Mr. Steven wasn't used during yesterday's launch; instead, recovery boats were able to scoop the fairings out of the water and return them to land.

The Arabsat 6A is a modern communications satellite developed by Lockheed Martin for Arabsat, an organisation founded by the Arab League in 1976 to provide telecommunications services to the region.

For the Falcon Heavy, SpaceX didn't catch the fairings but did recover them promptly from the ocean. After a 24-hour delay due to weather, the rocket launched from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center at 6:35 p.m. local time.

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During its April 11 flight, the Falcon Heavy deployed the Arabsat-6A about 34 minutes after blast-off.

SpaceX has managed to achieve yet another historic milestone. The first two side boosters managed to land eight minutes after launch, touching down nearly simultaneously (again!) on the company's concrete landing pads along the Florida coast. 'Will be flown on Starlink mission later this year'. Two Starlink test satellites were launched previous year and the company hopes to launch the next set in the coming months using a Falcon 9 rocket.

Unfortunately, the fairing halves have proven hard to recover. Seawater isn't the best for rocket components, but the company is confident it can refurbish the fairings after they've been dunked in the ocean. This same principle has informed the mission architecture behind the BFR system, which consists of the reusable Starship spacecraft and the Super Heavy launch vehicle.

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The total cost of one of its Falcon 9 launches is estimated to reach £44 million ($61m), while each of its larger Falcon Heavy flights costs £65 million ($90m). 'Three for three boosters today for the Falcon Heavy'.

SpaceX: Falcon Heavy rocket launch and landing