After a few delays, SpaceX launched its second Falcon Heavy rocket yesterday evening.
The Falcon Heavy is the most powerful rocket in use today, with 27 engines firing at liftoff - nine per booster.
Until SpaceX came along, boosters were discarded in the ocean after satellite launches. The Arabsat 6A satellite, manufactured by Lockheed Martin, will be placed in the exclusive orbit of Arabsat 30.5 degrees East. All three reusable boosters are Falcon Block 9 cores. For its first flight, the Falcon Heavy rocket ferried SpaceX CEO Elon Musk's cherry-red Tesla Roadster and a dummy named Starman to Mars. The Block 5 is the latest-generation Falcon rocket, meant to be reused numerous times with minimal refurbishment.
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"I arrived on Sunday knowing there can be delays".
SpaceX wants to compete with its arch rival in the lucrative business of launching ultra-heavy satellites into space.
Weather in the Atlantic is now about as good as could be expected, with minimal waves and low winds, excellent conditions for the safe recovery of Falcon Heavy's center core - likely B1055 - and Version 2 payload fairing halves.
In Falcon Heavy's first launch, in February 2018, a dummy dubbed Starman was placed behind the wheel of Musk's roadster, which is now orbiting the Sun somewhere between Earth and Mars. But the preferred method remains NASA's own Space Launch System mega rocket - if it can be ready by then.
The Falcon Heavy differs from the Falcon 9 rocket. Falcon Heavy is taller than the shuttle launch rocket was, but carries a little less thrust or power.