SpaceX Falcon Heavy Launch Successful, Lands All Three Boosters

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A huge cloud of exhaust went up from the three Falcon 9 rocket cores that were yoked together to provide more than 5 million pounds of liftoff thrust.

The Thursday April 11 launch marked the first flight of the 230-foot-tall (about 70 meters) rocket with the payload from a paying customer.

The massive Falcon Heavy rocket was tested successfully in 2018 when it managed to carry a red Tesla roadster to space. The two side boosters touched down eight minutes and one second after liftoff on Landing Zone 1 and 2 at the former Launch Complex 13 at Cape Canaveral.

SpaceX confirmed this evening that the Arabsat-6A satellite, which will be used for communications, was successfully transferred into geosynchronous orbit.

Less than 10 minutes into the flight, the rocket's three boosters detached from the Falcon Heavy.

"Three for three boosters today", a SpaceX webcast commentator said. For comparison, the most potent rocket which is now in production, Delta IV Heavy can carry 22,560 kilograms.

In the 2018 test mission, Falcon Heavy's core booster missed the vessel and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean.

The company, which is owned by billionaire Elon Musk, launched its Falcon Heavy rocket from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The Roadster is thought to be on the other side of the sun from us right now, about three-quarters of the way around its first solar orbit, said senior analyst at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, Jon Giorgini.

A timed exposure of the SpaceX Falcon 9 Heavy rocket shows its trajectory as it launches at 6:35 PM from Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center, Fla. on Thursday. The SpaceX launch, which also happened to be the Heavy's second-ever flight, delivered a Saudi Arabian satellite into space.

Beyond that though, the Block 5 upgrades add almost 10 percent more thrust to Falcon Heavy compared with the demo mission previous year. Before the rocket finally launched more than two years later, Musk suggested to several news outlets, including CNN, that the rocket could explode.

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