SpaceX has successfully delivered the heaviest satellite yet to the orbit with the help of Falcon 9 rocket in the sixth launch of the year, following the first launch from Kennedy Space Center, two weeks ago. SpaceX has made a comeback from the Falcon 9 explosion that took place last September during launch-pad-testing at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
This marks the first launch by SpaceX in collaboration with London-based satellite communication company Inmarsat. The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carried the fourth Inmarsat-5 satellite were built by Boeing that weighed 6124 Kilograms or 13,500 pounds on earth. Inmarsat has completed its four-satellite Global Xpress constellation, that values at $1.6 billion calling it an “end of the beginning.” The aim of the constellation is to provide high-speed broadband service globally to mobile users from ships and planes to U.S military.
However, SpaceX had to pay the price of an entire rocket to deliver the satellite into the orbit more than 35,889 kilometers or 22,300 miles above the equator, to possibly cover Europe to India.
“You can go anywhere in the world, and you’re still our customer and you can do it on the move.” said Chief Executive of the Inmarsat
SpaceX had advertised the Falcon 9 rocket online for $62 million, for which a return landing wasn’t attempted. The fuel, it took to carry the staggering almost 6124 kilograms of the satellite into the orbit, was not enough to safely land the rocket back at the SapceX landing dock. SpaceX tore down the structure in order to accommodate equipment; the Falcon 9 was launched in its fully expandable configuration and without the landing legs, with the first stage using all the propellants to thrust the satellite into the orbit.
Inmarsat CEO Rupert Pearce said “Everyone at Inmarsat, SpaceX, and Boeing is really, really pumped about this launch. It’s a very significant one for us at Inmarsat because we call it the end of the beginning of the Global Xpress era.”
The 2nd setback in a year would not stop SpaceX towards its best year yet, given that it launches every two or three weeks as per schedule. Falcon 9 was an upgraded version of the Falcon Heavy, introduced at the end of 2015. The Falcon 9 Full thrust or otherwise known as Falcon 9 v1.2 will be the third upgrade of the Falcon 9.