May 15 (UPI) -- SpaceX's Falcon 9 launched an Inmarsat communications satellite, its largest payload, into orbit Monday evening from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
SpaceX didn't attempt to land its two-stage rocket back on Earth because the payload was too heavy. The Falcon 9 rocket instead used up most of its fuel carrying the satellite into a relatively high orbit -- which meant there wouldn't be enough to attempt a controlled landing.
This was the first time SpaceX has purposefully sacrificed a rocket for a transport mission. SpaceX has lost several Falcon 9 rockets in failed landing attempts.
In the future, such a heavy payload will likely be carried by the company's Falcon Heavy rocket, currently in production. The model won't be flight-worthy for some time, however.
The Inmarsat 5 F4 communications satellite will boost the company's mobile broadband coverage as well as the scope of Global Xpress, Inmarsat's in-flight wifi network used by commercial airlines.
"It's not designed as a local augmentation, but it nevertheless does bring significant additional capacity, and thanks to the fact that we have steerable beams on it, we can create this effect of concentrating capacity in particular areas of the world where needed," Michele Franci, Inmarsat's chief technology officer, told Spaceflight Now.