SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket set to attempt triple-booster landing tonight

This still image from video courtesy of SpaceX shows the SpaceX Falcon Heavy Rocket lifting off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida

The most powerful operational rocket in the world, SpaceX's Falcon Heavy, has launched its first commercial mission in a key demonstration for billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk's space company in the race to grasp lucrative military launch contracts.

SpaceX landed three of its Falcon Heavy rocket boosters for the first time on Thursday, as part of a mission which was delayed from the day before due to bad weather.

The launch also marked the first time SpaceX has managed to bring all three of the rocket's boosters back to Earth successfully after a flight.

Balkheyour said Arabsat chose the Falcon Heavy in order to extend the lifespan of the Arabsat-6A satellite beyond the 15 years a geostationary communications satellite is typically created to last.

And the launch came just a year and two months after the Falcon Heavy took off on its maiden voyage on February 6, 2018. The SpaceX launch, which also happened to be the Heavy's second-ever flight, delivered a Saudi Arabian satellite into space. SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule, atop a Falcon 9 rocket, cleared its first unmanned test flight in March ahead of its crewed mission planned for July, while the first unmanned test for Boeing's Starliner capsule is slated for August on ULA's Atlas 5 rocket. The side boosters from yesterday's launch are slated to be reused for that mission.

Falcon Heavy's debut flight a year ago attracted massive attention, in part because CEO Elon Musk made a decision to launch his own luxury Tesla Roadster as the test payload. All three boosters in this launch are based on SpaceX's newest Falcon 9 chassis, known as Block 5.

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

SpaceX's launch livestream will go live approximately 20 minutes before liftoff, now scheduled for no earlier than 8pm ET (00:00 UTC, April 11).

The satellite is created to provide television, internet, telephone, and secure communications to customers in the Middle East.

"We needed more lifetime for the satellite, so we had the option: Falcon 9 or Falcon Heavy, and we chose to go with Falcon Heavy", he said.

The satellite was constructed for the Saudi Arabian company by USA contractor Lockheed Martin. It went off without a hitch.

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