SpaceX successfully lands all three Falcon Heavy boosters

Enlarge Image The SpaceX Falcon Heavy sits on the launchpad in Florida.                  SpaceX

Enlarge Image The SpaceX Falcon Heavy sits on the launchpad in Florida. SpaceX

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy, the world's most powerful rocket, blasted off from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on April 11, launching its first operational mission and nailing a triple rocket landing more than a year after its demo flight.

The Arabsat-6A satellite deployed from the rocket's second-stage about 34 minutes after liftoff. It said in a tweet that the next launch opportunity is Thursday.

Since then, the USA 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.

So, the mission was a success, but the Falcon Heavy itself is much more interesting than another satellite in orbit.

"Of course, we are working on it [projects on launch vehicles with reusable boosters]..." Last year's test flight put a sports auto - Musk's own Tesla - convertible into space. The red Roadster - with a mannequin at the wheel - remains in a solar orbit stretching just past Mars.

Mr Musk shared photos of the landing on Twitter, saying: "The Falcons have landed".

"Come on! This is so fucking cool", the streamers called out as they watched the boosters return in all of their glory from this close vantage point - capturing everything from the return process, including the landing gear, becoming stable on the ground and the resulting sonic boom. All three of the rocket's boosters safely landed on Earth; the side boosters for this launch hadn't previously been used.

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During its previous Falcon Heavy launch, SpaceX successfully returned the two outer cores to its landing pads after separation, but the centre booster missed its drone ship target and crashed into the ocean.

All other SpaceX vessels - GO Searcher, GO Navigator, tugboat Hollywood, and drone ship OCISLY - will, however, be directly involved in this recovery attempt.

The satellite SpaceX will launch on Wednesday will update satellite coverage for Arabsat, which is based in Riyadh and delivers hundreds of television channels and radio stations to homes across the Middle East and North Africa. Built on Lockheed Martin's enhanced LM 2100 platform.

Arabsat-6A was due for its deployment about a half-hour after launch.

That was back when SpaceX was still expected to test Falcon Heavy later that same year.

Musk's casual mentions of a potential explosion spooked Arabsat executives, according to Bloomberg. This time, everything went off without a hitch.

This Falcon Heavy was also a next-generation version using the Falcon 9 Block 5 boosters for the first time.

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