Watching Falcon Heavy Land is a Glimpse at the Future of Spaceflight

15 Avril, 2019, 00:50 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • Science										
		
																	SpaceX pulled off an incredible feat in its second Falcon Heavy launch					
								
			
	
		Mike Wehner

Falcon Heavy was designed specifically to launch such a load commercially.

He estimates that each fairing costs approximately $6 million, which equates to about 10 percent of the cost of a Falcon 9 launch.

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, sparking boisterous cheers from SpaceX engineers in the company's Hawthorne, California headquarters.

The rocket is the most powerful in use today, with 27 engines firing at liftoff - nine per booster, taking off with the force of 18 passenger planes.

Arabsat 6A launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The ability to retrieve payload fairings is the latest step in SpaceX's creation of rocket systems that are entirely reusable.

A Falcon Heavy rocket carrying a communication satellite for a Saudi Arabian firm lifted off from Kennedy Space Center.

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

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Since then, the United States 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.

The world's most powerful rocket blasted off Thursday evening for only its second flight ever.

SpaceX has two operational rockets: the Falcon 9, which with 21 launches in 2018 dominates the USA market, and the Falcon Heavy, which as its name suggests is created to lift much heavier payloads into more distant orbits.

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

The US Air Force tapped SpaceX previous year to launch a classified military satellite for US$130 million (S$176 million), and in February added three missions in a US$297 million contract.

The space company has previously re-used first-stage and second-stage rocket boosters, in addition to one of its previously flown Dragon capsules.

The lift-off was crucial in the race with Boeing-Lockheed venture United Launch Alliance and Mr Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin as SpaceX aims to clinch a third of all US National Security Space missions - coveted military contracts worth billions.

It consists of the equivalent of three Falcon 9 rockets combined, tripling its thrust.

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