Elon Musk‘s SpaceX launched its 250th successful mission till-date on Friday night.
The landmark mission was launched by SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket. The rocket, dubbed “scary” by Musk, launched the Hughes JUPITER 3 mission to a geosynchronous transfer orbit from Florida on Friday at 11:04 p.m. ET.
Jupiter 3 is a satellite by Hughes Network Systems, an Echostar (NASDAQ:SATS) company, aimed at providing connectivity to customers across North and South America.
“JUPITER 3 is the highest capacity, highest performing satellite we’ve ever launched. As the leading provider and inventor of satellite internet, we’re proud to herald the start of a new era of connectivity and serve more customers where cable and fiber cannot,” said EchoStar CEO Hamid Akhavan.
SpaceX shared several pictures of the launch and landing of the rocket celebrating the landmark.
The mission was first set to launch on Wednesday but was delayed due to a violation of abort criteria.
SpaceX attempted its first launch in 2006 which failed. The first successful launch came in the second half of 2008 after two more failed attempts. In 2020, it completed 26 launches, 31 in 2021, and nearly doubled to 61 last year.
In March this year, the company completed its 20th launch of 2023. CEO Musk then said that over 70 launches are expected for the company for the remainder of the year, pegging the total anticipated launches this year at over 90.
Musk has previously named the Falcon Heavy ‘scary’ during a review. “I love that rocket, but it’s scary. So many state changes post liftoff,” Musk said.
Launched for the first time on February 6, 2018, Falcon Heavy quickly garnered attention for its impressive capabilities. The rocket is essentially composed of three Falcon 9 cores, which together generate a staggering 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff. With this immense power, Falcon Heavy can carry payloads of up to 140,000 pounds to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and 37,000 pounds to Mars.
The innovation behind Falcon Heavy lies in its reusable design. After launch, the rocket’s side boosters return to Earth, landing simultaneously, while the central core lands on a drone ship in the ocean. This reusability factor drastically reduces the cost of space missions, making it a game-changer in the space industry.
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Produced in association with Benzinga
Edited by Arnab Nandy
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