Published: Tue, May 16, 2017
IT&Software | By Jimmie Castillo

SpaceX Falcon 9 Lofts Its Heaviest Satellite Into Orbit

SpaceX Falcon 9 Lofts Its Heaviest Satellite Into Orbit

When the third satellite was launched in 2015, Inmarsat CEO Rupert Pearce said his company was switching to SpaceX because of the "unacceptably high failure rate" of Russia's Proton rockets.

On Monday, SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 to deploy a 13,500 pound satellite, the heaviest load that this type of rocket has ever carried.

Weighing in at almost 13,500 pounds atop the rocket, the fourth Inmarsat-5 satellite will be the heaviest load lofted by a Falcon 9 yet, News 6 partner Florida Today reported.

Weighing in at almost 6,100 kg, the satellite is the heaviest load ever delivered by a SpaceX Falcon rocket.

Instead, the spent rocket will fall into the Atlantic Ocean, as numerous rocket boosters did before SpaceX and others like Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin led the charge toward reusable rockets.

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This is the 2nd SpaceX launch in 2 weeks and the 6th Falcon 9 launch of the year.

Falcon 9's blastoff is scheduled at 7:21 p.m. EDT with a window of 40 minutes. It's also going to travel 22,000 miles (35,727 km) above the Earth's surface. The Elon-Musk-founded company will send a communications satellite into orbit for Inmarsat.

Last year, an explosion during fueling destroyed a Falcon 9 rocket and its payload, grounding the fleet for months. One of the Inmarsat-5 satellites, the new sat will provide broadband internet services to airline passengers, maritime crews, and US and global military units. With the satellite launching into space, in-flight internet would be significantly improved.

The Inmarsat-5 series of satellite is built on the Boeing 702HP satellite bus.

Previously, three first stage boosters successfully landed there after dispatching satellites into orbit.

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