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article imageFalcon Heavy to make history in first commercial launch in April

By Karen Graham     Mar 19, 2019 in Technology
The second flight of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy megarocket is scheduled to take place on April 7. A historic event in its own right, this will be the Falcon Heavy's first commercial launch.
SpaceX is targeting April 7 for the launch of the Arabsat 6A communications satellite from historic Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, CNBC reported Friday (March 15), citing anonymous sources.
The mission is called Arabsat 6A. It is a large communications satellite - weighing in at 13,200-lb. (6,000 kilograms) that was built for Saudi Arabian corporation Arabsat. Built by Lockheed Martin, the satellite is described by Lockheed vice president Lisa Callahan as one of “the most advanced commercial communications satellites we’ve ever built.”
The reusable Falcon Heavy is the most powerful rocket flying today. The rocket made its first test mission on February 8, 2018, launching SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk's red Tesla Roadster - driven by a spacesuit-clad dummy dubbed Starman — into orbit around the sun.
The SpaceX Falcon Heavy launches from Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida  on February 6 ...
The SpaceX Falcon Heavy launches from Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, on February 6, 2018
Bruce WEAVER, AFP
The Falcon Heavy is essentially three smaller, Falcon 9 rockets strapped together, adding up to a total of 27 engines. The 230-foot (70-meter) tall rocket is designed to carry nearly 141,000 pounds (64 metric tons) into orbit -- more than the mass of a fully loaded 737 jetliner.
But to be factual, the Falcon Heavy is not the most powerful rocket ever - just the biggest in operation today. Actually, the Saturn V rocket that propelled astronauts to the Moon could deliver more payload to orbit. The Soviet-era Energia, which flew twice in 1987 and 1988, was also more powerful.
The Soviet-era Energia  which flew twice in 1987 and 1988  was also more powerful than the Falcon He...
The Soviet-era Energia, which flew twice in 1987 and 1988, was also more powerful than the Falcon Heavy.
Ebs08
Arabsat-6A communications satellite
Arabsat-6A is a Saudi Arabian communications satellite operated by Arabsat. Headquartered in the city of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Arabsat was created in 1976 to deliver satellite-based, public and private telecommunications services to the Arab States, in accordance with International Standards.
Arabsat satellites are a series of geostationary communications satellites launched from 1985 through 2011. Some of the satellites still remain operational while several have been retired and are now considered derelict.
The Arasat 6A will be placed into geostationary orbit providing television, Internet, telephone and secure communications, to customers in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. Its Western beam will also reach the Eastern seaboard of the US and South America.
Lockheed Martin technicians working on the Arasat 6 communications satellite.
Lockheed Martin technicians working on the Arasat 6 communications satellite.
Lockheed Martin
More about Spacex, falcon heavy rocket, 1st commercial mission, Arabsat6A satellite, Lockheed martin
 
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