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SpaceX Readies First Falcon Heavy Launch for Paying Customer

The flight will open up competition for big commercial satellite launches and national security missions.

The SpaceX Falcon Heavy launches from Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, on February 6, 2018, on its demonstration mission.
The SpaceX Falcon Heavy launches from Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, on February 6, 2018, on its demonstration mission.Photographer: JIM WATSON/AFP
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Elon Musk’s SpaceX is preparing to launch Falcon Heavy—its massive, heavy-lift rocket—for its first paying customer, more than a year after its debut demonstration mission in February 2018.

Last year’s initial Falcon Heavy launch was a spectacle thanks in part to its test payload: Musk’s cherry-red Tesla Roadster with a mannequin passenger, dubbed Starman, sitting in the driver’s seat. This time SpaceX will be carrying a payload for Saudi Arabia’s Arabsat, a satellite services provider.