Where is the Falcon Heavy now

"Falcon Heavy" : Elon Musk's super rocket flies and makes money

The "Schwere Falke" did its job for the first time: A "Falcon Heavy" rocket successfully completed its first commercial flight on Thursday (local time). It was developed by engineers from the US space company SpaceX, which Tesla boss Elon Musk founded in 2002. It put the Saudi Arabian telecommunications satellite “Arabsat 6a”, weighing around 6,500 kilograms, into orbit. The company announced this via Twitter, among other things.

Reusable rocket stages

The heavy lift rocket is about 70 meters high. It was launched from the Cape Canaveral spaceport in the US state of Florida. The satellite is intended to provide television, Internet and cellular services for the Middle East, Africa and Europe. Originally, the two stages and two additional booster rockets attached to the main rocket were designed to be recyclable. In the version now used, however, the last stage is lost. The two boosters and the first stage returned safely to earth around ten minutes after take-off. The former landed on a special area on land near the launch site, the step on an unmanned ship with a landing platform off the coast of Florida.

The "Falcon Heavy" is often referred to as a kind of three-pack of single missiles of the type "Falcon-9" that have been in use for a long time. Falcon 9 rockets have been carrying cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) since 2012. The - ultimately failed - lunar mission of Israel also used a Falcon-9. SpaceX is also working with the US space agency Nasa, for example on manned feeders to the ISS.

Test flight with Tesla

The "Falcon Heavy" completed its first test flight a good year ago, on February 6, 2018. At the time, there was no satellite on board, but a red Tesla sports car on board.

The rocket can put 70 tons of cargo into orbit for around $ 90 million. That is much cheaper than the planned new large rockets from NASA, which, according to media reports, wants to charge a billion dollars per flight.

In addition to Musk, other billionaires such as Amazon boss Jeff Bezos and Virgin founder Richard Branson are also trying their hand at space business ideas. While Branson primarily wants to bring tourists into space, Musk plans, among other things, to shoot vacationers to their dream destinations on earth by rocket in a time-saving manner - but not exactly in a fuel-efficient and climate-friendly manner.

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