SpaceX has launched the Falcon Heavy rocket on its first commercial mission in a decisive demonstration to secure military contracts.
The Falcon Heavy is partially reusable and in addition to the launching of their first cargo for a customer, a communications satellite called Arabsat-6A, the team also successfully landed the core booster on SpaceX’s drone ship 400 miles off the Florida coast. The two side boosters performed a synchronized landing at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, in another display of the rocket’s reusability.
A successful outcome was a vital step in acquiring lucrative contracts from the US National Security Space missions ahead of other private companies such as United Launch Alliance and Blue Origin. The Us Air Force contracted SpaceX in 2018 to launch a classified military satellite and has since added an additional three missions in a contract worth $297 million.
In February 2018 Elon Musk sent his own $100,000 red convertible Tesla Roadster on a journey through our solar system in a display of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket’s capabilities. During this test mission, the core booster was lost in the Atlantic. The car currently remains on its space voyage, thought to be three quarters the way through its first solar orbit.
A NASA administrator recently suggested using a Falcon Heavy during the 2020 mission of sending the Orion capsule on orbit around the moon. SpaceX intends to radically reduce the cost of space flight missions by continuing the development of reusable parts for rockets.