SpaceX Launches ArabSat-6A on Falcon Heavy Rocket

Science

SpaceX and Boeing Co are vying to send humans to space from United States soil for the first time in almost a decade under NASA's Commercial Crew Program.

The Falcon Heavy rocket's 27 Merlin engines roar to life in this close-up view captured just seconds after liftoff.

Unfortunately, the fairing halves have proven hard to recover.

Musk also indicated that the hardware appeared to be undamaged and will be used again later this year to launch some of SpaceX's Starlink global broadband satellites.

In a reply to another user's tweet, the tech mogul explained that each fairing has its own avionics system and nitrogen thrusters, as well as steerable parachutes, to help them return to Earth safely.

SpaceX's payload fairing retrieval boat, dubbed Mr. Steven.

The Falcon Heavy, developed by the private U.S. space flight company SpaceX, blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center in the U.S. State of Florida at 6:35 p.m.

All three of the rocket's boosters successfully returned to earth after the launch.

SpaceX and Boeing are vying to send humans to space from United States soil for the first time in almost a decade under Nasa's Commercial Crew Programme.

The launch on 26 April results in an arrival at the space station for a robotic capture by Expedition 59 crew members David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency and Nick Hague of NASA on Sunday, 28 April at 7 am EDT for a month-long stay.

Believe it or not, the trio of boosters aren't the only things that SpaceX managed to recover.

The US Air Force tapped SpaceX in 2018 to launch for Dollars 130 million a classified military satellite and in February added three more missions in a USD 297 million contract. These boosters have been part of the Falcon 9 rocket for nearly a year and offer better thrust, improved landing legs and other features that make retrieval easier.

The payload fairings are clam shell-like nose cone halves that protect the craft's payload. While many SpaceX fairings have been pulled from the water over the years and put back into service, the ultimate goal is to avoid having to refurbish the components to deal with corrosion caused by salt water - which is expensive and time-consuming. A drone ship is already in position in the Atlantic in order to catch the center core of the rocket, while the two outer cores will aim to land on SpaceX's concrete landing zones on the Florida coast.

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