SpaceX is celebrating this morning after its Falcon heavy rocket launched the Arabsat 6-A communications satellite and also achieved a triple rocket landing in the process.
The Falcon Heavy launched the Arabsat satellite yesterday at 6.35pm from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on its first commercial mission. The satellite was deployed into orbit 34 minutes after launch.
Then, following booster separation, Falcon Heavy’s two side boosters successfully touched down at SpaceX’s Landing Zones 1 and 2 (LZ-1 and LZ-2) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and Falcon Heavy’s centre core landed successfully on the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship, stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.
The initial launch, scheduled for Wednesday was postponed due to unacceptable atmospheric wind shear conditions.
Arabsat-6A is a high-capacity telecommunications satellite that will deliver television, radio, Internet, and mobile communications to customers in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. Built on Lockheed Martin’s enhanced LM 2100 platform, Arabsat-6A includes several innovations that provide advanced Ka- spot beam communications services and Ku and Ka-band coverages in addition to other frequency bands. It will be located at one of Arabsat’s orbital positions and will support Arabsat’s competitive position as the first operator in the region for satellite capacities and services.
SpaceX tweeted: “Successful deployment of Arabsat-6A to geosynchronous transfer orbit confirmed—completing Falcon Heavy’s first commercial mission!”