A Falcon-9 rocket has successfully launched SpaceX heaviest geostationary orbital payload yet. The rocket blasted a 6070kg (13,380 lb) Inmarsat communication satellite into orbit from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center at 19:21 local time (00:21 BST, Tuesday).
The communications satellite from Inmarsat (the UK’s biggest space company) is the fourth in a constellation created to provide high-bandwidth broadspeed Internet globally.
Although SpaceX is known for its reusable rockets – the massive weight of the satellite meant the mission parameters did not call for an attempt to recover the first stage of the rocket. The launch was originally meant to be done with one of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rockets, but the company has not yet managed to bring them into commercial operation.
The launch took place at SpaceX’s LC-39A complex at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. SpaceX has leased and repurposed he pad to support Falcon 9 and future Falcon Heavy crewed launches.