SpaceX Launches Heaviest Payload Yet from Falcon 9 [Video]
SpaceX is targeting launch of Inmarsat-5 Flight 4 from historic Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The 51-minute launch window opened on Monday, May 15, at 7:20 p.m. EDT, or 23:20 UTC.
SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket carrying a payload from communications satellite operate Inmarsat, the fourth in a constellation created to provide high-bandwidth broadspeed Internet globally.
The launch represents a technological leap for SpaceX. It had been previously thought that only a SpaceX heavy Falcon rocket could deliver a payload this size to geostationary orbit. But the recent improvements in the Falcon 9 have allowed it to take on heavier payloads.
The payload is the largest ever launched on a Falcon 9, which is why the mission parameters didn’t call for an attempt to recover the first stage of the rocket.
The launch is widely considered a success with both the first and second stage burns occurring as expected.