SpaceX launches mega rocket year after debut with sports auto

The Falcon Heavy central core booster lands on a drone ship stationed hundreds of miles out in the Atlantic Ocean

On Thursday, US space company SpaceX launched Falcon Heavy with a Saudi Arabsat-6A satellite on board and successfully landed the rocket's side boosters and central core back on Earth. Now, not only did SpaceX land three rocket boosters yesterday after their Falcon Heavy launch, but they have also received a NASA contract for an asteroid redirect mission.

The rocket is part of a growing number of launch services at SpaceX, which includes the Crew Dragon that docked onto the International Space Station in March. The red Roadster - with a mannequin at the wheel - remains in a solar orbit stretching just past Mars.

The Falcon Heavy rocket exerts 5.1 million pounds of thrust - that of more than a dozen jetliners, SpaceX said.

The rocket's side boosters landed at the SpaceX Landing Zones 1 and 2 within seconds of each other, while the center core landed on the "Of Course I Still Love You" droneship located in the Atlantic ocean, the company has confirmed. Built by Lockheed Martin, Arabsat 6A is the largest and most powerful commercial satellite Lockheed martin has ever produced. Then, as it launched, all of this energy poured forth from 27 engines in a meticulously controlled explosion for the goal of sending a 6-ton satellite into geostationary orbit. Later on Thursday, Elon Musk said that both payload fairings were recovered.

Two side booster rockets flew back and landed at Cape Canaveral, creating sonic booms heard as far as Orlando.

In a Wednesday tweet, Elon Musk said that the Falcon Heavy uses the new Block 5 version of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket, which launched its initial voyage previous year.

This is Falcon Heavy's second launch. That launch was the biggest rocket since the Saturn era ended in the 1970s.

NASA's Saturn V rockets, used for the Apollo moon shots, are the all-time launch leaders so far in size and might.

Last night, around 11.51pm United Kingdom time, SpaceX founder Elon Musk, 47, confirmed the two side boosters landed at Cape Canaveral.

SpaceX will soon be preparing for a different kind of mission. The Falcon Heavy is essentially three of those single rockets strapped together.

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