Elon Musk's SpaceX Successfully Launched Its Falcon Heavy Rocket
SpaceX's Falcon Heavy is the most powerful rocket in operation and it launched into space today -- with a successful landing of all three of its booster rockets.
SpaceX is Elon Musk's private aerospace manufacturer dedicated to reducing space transportation costs and holds the eventual goal of colonising Mars.
On Thursday night, SpaceX launched Falcon Heavy from the Kennedy Space Center on Florida's Merritt Island, the same site that launched the Apollo moon missions.
Falcon Heavy was carrying the Saudi-owned advanced communications satellite, Arabsat-6A and deployed the six-tonne device into the Earth's orbit 30 minutes after it took off.
The satellite is designed to provide internet and communications services to the Middle East, Africa, and parts of Europe.
The three booster rockets that launched the enormous spacecraft all landed successfully for the first time. In February 2018 Falcon Heavy's maiden flight resulted in its central booster rocket plunging into the Atlantic at 480 kilometres per hour about 400 metres from its intended landing site.
Falcon Heavy's first flight launched a red Tesla into orbit with a mannequin driver known as Starman in the driver's seat.
The car is currently on an orbit circle that takes it beyond Mars and into Earth's orbit when it's closest to the Sun (the cycle takes around 557 days).
Projections show that the car will smash into either Earth or Venus -- within the next few ten million years.
Live footage of Starman orbiting Earth before his trip to Mars through the asteroid belt was published on Youtube by SpaceX following Falcon Heavy's first launch.
SpaceX celebrated the launch of the Arabsat-6A satellite as the rocket's first commercial venture.