SpaceX has lined up a new launch of its powerful Falcon Heavy rocket from Space Coast.
In what is now the sixth planned launch for the powerful rocket, SpaceX plans to send a Viasat satellite to circulate between 2020 and 2022 from the Kennedy Space Center 39A launch complex. Viasat, California, announced the deal Thursday.
Falcon Heavy has just been launched once before in a demo flight that sent a Tesla Roadster in space in February from Kennedy Space Center. Thousands of spectators flocked to the space coast, which stretched on Playalinda Beach and near Kennedy Space Center to watch when Falcon Heavy took off and sent massive smoke plums across the launch plate.
Rocket is the most powerful American rocket since Saturn V, who took men to the moon. It can lift up to 1
41,000 pounds in terrain.
Global communications company Viasat said it had chosen Falcon Heavy specifically for its ability to fly almost directly to its final destination in geostationary circulation – instead of having to perform a set of maneuvers before reaching that destination.
Coming straight on geostationary lanes means that the ViaSat-3 satellite will be able to turn on its ultra-high-speed broadband service faster than when launched with another rocket, the company said. Together, they will have three ViaSat-3 satellites, one of which will drive on Falcon Heavy, to get more than one terabit per second of network capacity to customers in America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific.
"We chose SpaceX because they continue to demonstrate their commitment to space technology" Dave Ryan, president of Space Systems at Viasat, in a press release. " Their proven technology is both powerful and efficient for running a ViaSat-3 spacecraft near geostationary orbit. "
Two new Falcon Heavy launches are scheduled for next year from Space Coast: an Arabsat satellite and the Air Force Space Test Program 2 mission, which sends military and scientific research satellites to orbit.
Also launched are launches of the Air Force Space Command-52 satellite in 2020 and the first geostationary satellite from the Swedish company Ovzon by the end of 2020. The London based satellite company Inmarsat also has a flight contract on Falcon Heavy but has not assigned a satellite to launch than.