Elon Musk does it again.
On Thursday, April 11 at 6:35 p.m. EDT, Falcon Heavy launched the Arabsat-6A satellite at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The satellite was deployed approximately 34 minutes after liftoff.
Following booster separation, Falcon Heavy’s two side boosters landed at SpaceX’s Landing Zones at Cape Canaveral. Falcon Heavy’s center core landed on the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship, which was stationed in the Atlantic Ocean
Falcon Heavy is the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two. With the ability to lift into orbit nearly 64 metric tons (141,000 lb)—a mass greater than a 737 jetliner loaded with passengers, crew, luggage and fuel–Falcon Heavy can lift more than twice the payload of the next closest operational vehicle, the Delta IV Heavy, at one-third the cost. Falcon Heavy draws upon the proven heritage and reliability of Falcon 9.
Its first stage is composed of three Falcon 9 nine-engine cores whose 27 Merlin engines together generate more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff, equal to approximately eighteen 747 aircraft. Only the Saturn V moon rocket, last flown in 1973, delivered more payload to orbit. Falcon Heavy was designed from the outset to carry humans into space and restores the possibility of flying missions with crew to the Moon or Mars.