The largest commercial communications satellite in the world was successfully launched into orbit at Cape Canaveral, Florida, by SpaceX’s most potent operational rocket.
At 11:04 p.m. local time on Friday, Space Exploration Technologies Corp.’s three-fuselage Falcon Heavy launched with substantial cargo from the business’ launchpad at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Approximately three and a half hours after launch, the satellite was deployed.
Falcon Heavy’s side boosters have landed on LZ-1 and LZ-2 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station pic.twitter.com/OItmoqvgrr
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) July 29, 2023
The Jupiter 3 satellite, which is about the size of a bus and weighs more than nine tons, will offer wireless internet coverage over North and South America. It will be run by Hughes Network Systems, a division of EchoStar Corp., a provider of satellite communications.
In order to make sure it had enough fuel to carry the massive cargo to its intended orbit, Elon Musk’s SpaceX chose not to recover the center core of its Falcon Heavy rocket. However, the vehicle’s two side boosters did safely land on SpaceX’s two landing grounds in Florida. Additionally, the pair had already flown on two Falcon Heavy missions.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 29, 2023
The launch on Friday marks SpaceX’s 51st orbital flight this year and the third Falcon Heavy launch in 2023. A new batch of Starlink broadband satellites had been launched by SpaceX a day earlier from the company’s other launchpad in Florida.