SpaceX carries out first commercial launch

The Falcon Heavy rocket at sunset along the Florida coast

Eight minutes after liftoff, SpaceX lands two of the first-stage boosters side by side at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Thursday, April 11, 2019. Last year's Falcon Heavy saw two of the three core stages land at Cape Canaveral's Landing Zones 1 and 2.

The middle booster, after pushing the payload into space, returned almost ten minutes later for a successful landing on SpaceX's seafaring drone ship 645km off the Florida coast.

The new and improved Falcon Heavy thundered into the early evening sky with a communication satellite called Arabsat, the rocket's first paying customer. The vehicle's upgraded rocket cores also make it the world's most powerful rocket. Approximately 34 minutes into the mission, the Falcon Heavy successfully deployed Arabsat-6A, a communications satellite that will provide internet services to people living in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East.

The Falcon Heavy rocket exerts 5.1 million pounds of thrust - that of more than a dozen jetliners, SpaceX said. For its first flight, the Falcon Heavy rocket ferried SpaceX CEO Elon Musk's cherry-red Tesla Roadster and a dummy named Starman to Mars. Shortly after, the rocket's three boosters touched down back on Earth. 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.

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The US Air Force tapped SpaceX in 2018 to launch for $130 million a classified military satellite, and in February added three more missions in a $297 million contract.

"The Falcons have landed", Musk said in a tweet that included pictures of all three boosters.

The satellite was constructed for the Saudi Arabian company by USA contractor Lockheed Martin. This time, everything went off without a hitch. SpaceX landed all three booster cores for a recovery rate of 100 percent.

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