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SpaceX Successfully Launches It's Heaviest Satellite to Date

16 May 2017

Earlier this month, Elon Musk's company launched a mysterious spy satellite and was able to successfully land the rocket back on Earth - a key part of its mission. The satellite that SpaceX is launching, called Inmarsat-5 F4, is larger than a double-decker bus and weighs almost 13,500 pounds.

"Inmarsat, the only operator of a global Ka-band network, created the GX platform to enable communities across the world to benefit from the emerging digital society", said a company statement.

The rocket will carry a commercial communications satellite for London-based Inmarsat, one of SpaceX's new customers.

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The satellite, which is the fourth satellite in Inmarsat's Global Xpress network, will be the heaviest load lofted by a Falcon 9 yet, reported on Sunday.

"Satellite deployment success!" Inmarsat announced. The launch of Inmarsat-5 Flight 4 from Pad 39A is scheduled for Monday, May 15. "In maritime, our system is actually integrated". In contrast to the constellation planned by SpaceX, Inmarsat's satellites are positioned above the equator in a geostationary orbit, which allows as few as three satellites to provide global coverage.

This was SpaceX's sixth launch so far this year, its 34th Falcon 9 flight overall and the seventh since a Falcon 9 exploded on its Cape Canaveral Air Force Base launch pad September 1. Considering the explosions from their 2015 and 2016 launches, the rocket company can not guarantee success for now. The weather also looks like it won't be interfering with the much-anticipated launch of Falcon 9. However, since the company has not brought those into commercial flights yet, it chose to go with a regular Falcon. The first unpiloted test flight of SpaceX's Dragon crew ship is expected next March.

SpaceX Successfully Launches It's Heaviest Satellite to Date