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SpaceX carries out first commercial launch

AFP  |  Cape Canaveral (US) 

has carried out its first commercial launch with its Heavy rocket tasked with placing a Saudi satellite in orbit.

The bright white rocket rose with a mighty roar and spewed thick gray smoke on the ground as it made its way up into clear blue skies over Cape Canaveral, It trailed a long stream of bright orange fire.

Boisterous spectators chanted along with the who counted down the final 10 seconds before liftoff on Thursday.

The rocket exerts 5.1 million pounds of thrust -- that of more than a dozen jetliners, said.

The rocket is to carry a Saudi Arabian satellite operated by Arabsat, a year after sending founder Elon Musk's red roadster into orbit as a test.

The Heavy had been scheduled to lift off from the on Wednesday but was delayed because of fierce winds in the upper atmosphere.

The job is to place the six-ton Arabsat-6A satellite into geostationary orbit about 22,500 miles (36,000 kilometers) above the Earth.

Less than 10 minutes into the flight, the rocket's three boosters detached from the Heavy.

Two of them, as planned, landed safely back on pads at Cape Canaveral, to a roar of approval from the crowd.

A third landed, also as planned, on a barge at sea.

"Three for three boosters today," a webcast commentator said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, April 12 2019. 05:35 IST