SpaceX Conducts First Launch for Private Customer

SpaceX Conducts First Launch for Private Customer

About 34 minutes after the liftoff, the satellite was deployed into the orbit.

Roughly three minutes after clearing the pad, Heavy's two side boosters separated from the core rocket for a synchronised landing at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The second most powerful rocket in the USA - the Delta IV Heavy - can send more than 63,000 pounds to the same location.

Amid the fanfare of the Falcon Heavy successfully embarking on its second-ever trip to space, Elon Musk announced that his company was able to recover both fairing halves of the megarocket for the first time. The rocket launched with a cherry-red Tesla Roadster and a mannequin passenger, dubbed Starman, sitting in the driver's seat. The launch was also Falcon Heavy's first commercial endeavor.

SpaceX is hoping that, with Heavy's first commercial flight under its belt, it can increase the frequency with which the massive rocket blasts off.

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket successfully completed its second launch and first operational mission on Thursday. Two Starlink test satellites were launched a year ago and the company hopes to launch the next set in the coming months using a Falcon 9 rocket.

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Fans and tourists are expected to flock to the Florida Space Coast for the event, while some can catch the live broadcast on the SpaceX website.

Falcon Heavy carried a communications satellite for Saudi-based telecom firm Arabsat, which will beam internet and television services over Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

"Three for three boosters today", a SpaceX webcast commentator said. But since the inaugural flight, SpaceX has added a few more customers to the Falcon Heavy's manifest, including telecommunications company Viasat, along with a few additional launches from the US Air Force.

Since then, the U.S. military and private clients have signed contracts for Falcon Heavy launches, and NASA has raised the possibility it may use the rocket for its planned missions to the Moon. 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 Falcon Heavy's two side boosters gracefully lower themselves onto the landing zones at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

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