Newsdeck

SpaceX Pulls Off Impressive Feat in Rocket’s Commercial Debut

By Bloomberg 12 April 2019
Caption
Elon Musk, chief executive officer of Tesla Motors Inc. and Space Exploration Technologies Inc. known as SpaceX, speaks at a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, April 5, 2011. Photographer: Brendan Hoffman/Bloomberg

Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. launched its massive Falcon Heavy rocket Thursday for Saudi Arabia’s Arabsat, the rocket’s first mission for a paying customer.

Falcon Heavy rumbled aloft at 6:35 p.m. local time from NASA’s Kennedy Space Station in Florida. SpaceX then recovered all three of the boosters back on Earth, achieving a feat it wasn’t able to pull off in the rocket’s demonstration flight last year. The two side boosters simultaneously returned to land and the center core touched down on a drone ship hundreds of nautical miles out in the Atlantic Ocean.

“The Falcons have landed,” Musk tweeted.

SpaceX’s mission was to deploy Arabsat-6A, a high-capacity telecommunications satellite that will deliver television, radio, Internet and mobile communications to customers in the Middle East, Africa and Europe, according to a press kit.

Read more: SpaceX Readies First Falcon Heavy Launch for Paying Customer

SpaceX set a company record last year with 21 launches for customers. 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.

SpaceX completed its Demo-1 flight for the program in March. The next key steps are an in-flight abort test, followed by the first flight with two astronauts. DM

Gallery

Watch Pauli van Wyk’s Cat Play The Piano Here!

No, not really. But now that we have your attention, we wanted to tell you a little bit about what happened at SARS.

Tom Moyane and his cronies bequeathed South Africa with a R48-billion tax shortfall, as of February 2018. It's the only thing that grew under Moyane's tenure... the year before, the hole had been R30.7-billion. And to fund those shortfalls, you know who has to cough up? You - the South African taxpayer.

It was the sterling work of a team of investigative journalists, Scorpio’s Pauli van Wyk and Marianne Thamm along with our great friends at amaBhungane, that caused the SARS capturers to be finally flushed out of the system. Moyane, Makwakwa… the lot of them... gone.

But our job is not yet done. We need more readers to become Maverick Insiders, the friends who will help ensure that many more investigations will come. Contributions go directly towards growing our editorial team and ensuring that Daily Maverick and Scorpio have a sustainable future. We can’t rely on advertising and don't want to restrict access to only those who can afford a paywall subscription. Membership is about more than just contributing financially – it is about how we Defend Truth, together.

So, if you feel so inclined, and would like a way to support the cause, please join our community of Maverick Insiders.... you could view it as the opposite of a sin tax. And if you are already Maverick Insider, tell your mother, call a friend, whisper to your loved one, shout at your boss, write to a stranger, announce it on your social network. The battle for the future of South Africa is on, and you can be part of it.


Comments

Please note you must be a Maverick Insider to comment. Sign up here or if you are already an Insider.

Mokgoro Inquiry

Ramaphosa upholds Mokgoro recommendation, fires Jiba and Mrwebi

By Nkateko Mabasa

Adidas will cancel any player's sponsorship deal if it turns out they have anything to do with Scientology.