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SpaceX's Falcon Heavy launches first paid mission

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:36s - Published < > Embed
SpaceX's Falcon Heavy launches first paid mission

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy launches first paid mission

Elon Musk scores another victory with the successful launch of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy - the world's most powerful rocket.

This is the rocket's first commercial mission following a successful test flight last year, and it wowed the crowds with a perfect landing of all three boosters.

Eve Johnson reports.

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SpaceX's Falcon Heavy launches first paid mission

Victory for SpaceX at Florida's Kennedy Space Center on Thursday (April 11) as the world's most powerful rocket in operation - the Falcon Heavy - blasted off on its first commercial mission.

The launch is feather in the cap of billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, who is working to flight-prove SpaceX's rocket fleet one mission at a time.

The 23-story -tall Falcon Heavy was first tested in 2018 carrying Musk's cherry red Tesla roadster.

This time it's payload is a bit more mundane: a Saudi Arabian satellite for internet and TV.

However, the stakes are high for Musk.

He's competing with the likes of Boeing-Lockheed's venture United Launch Alliance and Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin in the race for valuable military launch contracts.

He aims to clinch a third of all U.S. National Security Space missions - contracts worth billions of dollars.

Thursday's launch seemed to be a step in the right direction.

Three minutes after clearing the launch pad the rocket's two side boosters separated successfully from the core.

The middle booster, which pushed the payload into space, was the last to detach.

All three pulled off perfect landings - the side boosters touching down at a nearby landing pad followed by the middle booster at a SpaceX drone ship off the Florida coast.

It was an improvement from last year's test mission when the middle booster missed its target and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean ENDS




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