I flew into San Francisco on Wednesday, a day before the start of the launch of the first commercial satellite, the Sagittal Paternity Portal.
That’s because it’s not only the first time a US launch will be available in one country but also the first for a US company to be launched in a country with an established network of launch pads.
This is a big deal for the US space program.
“There are only a handful of companies that can launch satellites to space, and this is a great opportunity for them,” said Chris Woods, the chief executive of Spaceflight Industries, a commercial launch company that specializes in launch pad development.
The launchpad on which the Sagital Paternity portal is planned is the same pad that SpaceX used to launch its Falcon 9 rocket in 2016.
(See pictures of the Falcon 9 launch.)
“The Falcon 9 has proven that the Falcon Heavy can do it,” Woods said.
“And that’s the same with the Sagita Paternity.
They are going to be able to do it.”
The launch was the first of three scheduled for Thursday, with SpaceX aiming to have a Falcon Heavy rocket in orbit before the end of the year.
“This is a huge milestone in the company’s history,” SpaceX founder Elon Musk said at a press conference announcing the launch.
The first commercial launch will take place in 2018, with a second in 2019.
“That’s why I was so excited,” said Steve Furtado, a senior editor at Wired magazine.
“I think that we’re going to see SpaceX continue to expand the launch services market.”
SpaceX is planning to launch the Sagitas on three Falcon 9 rockets, all from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
The Falcon Heavy is the only rocket that can carry the full payload, about 1,100 kilograms, of equipment, including cameras and other hardware, to orbit.
The Sagitas is a hybrid of the heavy-lift rocket and a medium-lift variant, meaning it uses the same rocket but with two engines.
Musk said the new vehicle would be more than twice the payload capacity of the Heavy, and it would be able, at least theoretically, to carry a larger amount of cargo than the Heavy.
The new rocket would be called Falcon Heavy, named after the company that develops it, SpaceX.
The company says it is in talks with other countries to start commercial launches of heavier satellites, as well as other types of satellites.
The US Space Act of 1958 says that “no person shall make or use” any rocket or launch vehicle that can be launched by more than one person.
However, the US Congress has made it clear that the Federal Aviation Administration has the authority to ban any such launches.
In February, the FAA announced it was going to ban all flights of unmanned commercial vehicles, but it did not make any specific bans on any type of rocket.