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SpaceX marks 6th successful launch this year

The Inmarsat-5 F4 communications satellite is the heaviest object delivered by the company to space, for now
By: Lana Jelic | Science, Space & Robotics News | Posted: May 16, 2017 8:21 pm

Just two weeks after their last launch, SpaceX has successfully launched another Falcon 9 rocket.

 

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The company launched a communications satellite that will complete Inmarsat's fifth-generation broadband network. The Inmarsat-5 F4 communications satellite is the heaviest object delivered by the company to space, for now.

 

Getting the 13,400-lb. (6,100 kilograms) heavy F4 into its intended orbit emptied the Falcon's fuel tanks, leaving no propellant for the landing attempt.

 

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The Inmarsat satellite was originally scheduled to fly on a bigger rocket, the Falcon Heavy. The Falcon Heavy was scheduled to fly in 2014, then 2015, but there have been delays, and now, the company is aiming for the second half of this year.

 

Last week, the company conducted the first static fire test on the rocket's critical center core, and the test was successful.

 

Read also: SpaceX first Falcon Heavy static fire test is a success

 

Once it starts flying, Falcon Heavy will increase the low Earth orbit (LEO) payload to 64 tons, compared to 22.8 tons for a Falcon 9 full thrust.

 

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