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article imageSpaceX to launch heaviest payload yet with Inmarsat-5 satellite

By Karen Graham     May 15, 2017 in Science
Cape Canaveral - SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket will be carrying its heaviest payload yet when the launch of the Inmarsat-5 F4 communications satellite from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida takes place Monday night.
There will be a 49-minute launch window, according to SpaceX with the actual launch expected to take place on Monday night (May 15) at 7:21 p.m. EDT (2321 GMT) from the historic Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center.
London, UK-based Inmarsat's Inmarsat-5 F4 communications satellite weighs in at nearly 13,500 pounds and is the fourth in the series. The satellite was built by Boeing at a cost of around US$220 to US$250 million and will round-out the company's Global Xpress program.
Static fire test of Falcon 9 completed on May 11. The launch of Inmarsat-5 Flight 4 from Pad 39A is ...
Static fire test of Falcon 9 completed on May 11. The launch of Inmarsat-5 Flight 4 from Pad 39A is scheduled for Monday, May 15.
SpaceX
The satellite will be the heaviest load yet for the Falcon 9 rocket, and it will need every bit of fuel to have the thrust needed to successfully launch the satellite into a Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO). Because of the fuel requirement, the Falcon 9 booster will not be recovered, says SpaceX in a statement.
SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk explained the reasoning behind recovering the booster rockets in previous missions, pointing out that one of the company's goals is to make launches cheaper by reusing booster rockets. They have successfully recovered 10 booster rockets since December 2015.
SpaceX s Falcon 9 is tuning out to be a real work-horse.
SpaceX's Falcon 9 is tuning out to be a real work-horse.
SpaceX
To give everyone an idea of the size of the behemoth satellite, think larger than a double-decker bus. The 230-foot long rocket will need all its fuel and 1.7 million pounds of liftoff thrust to get the Inmarsat-5 F4 up high enough to reach its orbit over 22,000 miles above the Earth.
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