Published: Sat, December 07, 2019
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

SpaceX delays mega rocket launch due to high wind shear

The Arabsat 6A Satellite - the last of Arabsat's sixth generation satellites - was successfully launched yesterday morning by Elon Musk's SpaceX Falcon Heavy, from Cape Canaveral in Florida, USA. SpaceX landed all three booster cores for a recovery rate of 100 percent. As many people remember, when the Falcon Heavy made its debut in February 2018, SpaceX was only able to recover two boosters.

With a total of 27 Merlin engines, the Falcon Heavy is capable of generating "more than 5 million pounds (2.3 million kg) of thrust at liftoff, equal to about eighteen 747 aircraft", according to SpaceX.

About 34 minutes after lift-off, the high-capacity telecommunications satellite will be deployed to the stars to hopefully deliver television, radio, internet, and mobile communications to customers in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe.

The landing happened roughly eight minutes after the rocket took off into orbit and was followed by the core rocket stage landing on a SpaceX droneship in the Atlantic. Much of the focus this year is on the first flight with humans on board: SpaceX and Boeing Co. have contracts with NASA to ferry American astronauts to the International Space Station as part of the agency's Commercial Crew program.

The successful launch and landing were cheered on by USA space agency NASA, which congratulated the California-based rocket manufacturer.

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SpaceX's reusable designs make the Falcon Heavy an appealing way to get large payloads into space.

The version of the Falcon Heavy that SpaceX flew this week was not the same as what the company used on previous mission: Its rocket cores were more powerful, making use of upgrades to SpaceX's smaller workhorse rocket, the Falcon 9.

The so-called Arabsat 6A satellite was placed into an equatorial orbit some 22,000 miles (36,000km) above the Earth.

The satellite was constructed for the Saudi Arabian company by U.S. contractor Lockheed Martin.

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