SpaceX’s most powerful rocket launched on a landmark mission at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
It marked the fourth takeoff of the Falcon Heavy, For the first time in more than three yearsand saw that it was equipped with three Falcon 9 boosters.
Booster, self-launched at regular intervals to carry SpaceXStarlink satellites are in orbit and need to give their big brother the thrust needed to reach the star.
Among the payloads of the USSF-44 mission in Cape Canaveral, Florida, are two U.S. Space Force craft, including a tiny satellite called TETRA-1, which was created for “various prototype missions.” created.
The other ship being carried is classified.
Issues with getting the payload ready have delayed the launch – originally scheduled for 2020 – several times.
How the launch works
The launch began at 9.41am local time (1.41pm UK).
Conditions were favorable ahead of the rescheduled takeoff date, and blue skies greeted the rocket as it rolled toward launch pad 39A on Monday.
It took off on time, even though fog had settled on the scene by Tuesday morning.
Just over a minute after launch, the mechanical stress on the rocket peaked – shortly after the engines of its side boosters were cut off and separated from the main rocket.
About eight minutes after launch, both landed on SpaceX’s landing site at Cape Canaveral.
The main rocket had already left Earth’s atmosphere before the payload separated.
“Sonic Boom!!” tweeted SpaceX boss Elon Musk When the booster lands.
Huge cheers greeted the sighting of the boosters landing in Florida, which were equipped with cameras so every moment of their descent could be broadcast from SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California.
“One of them is usually a full rocket,” space reporter Kate Ackles Gray told Sky News.
“So this is the 150th and 151st landing they’ve done successfully. It’s incredible.”
Instead of attempting to land, the core booster uses all of its fuel to propel the payload further into space.
Musk retweeted a photo of the rocket in readiness, the company’s most important launch leading up to the planned Starship mission next month.
The company hopes to put a large rocket system into orbit for the first time in December — a key demonstration as it aims to send NASA astronauts to the moon in the next few years.
For more on science and technology, explore the future with Sky News at Big Ideas Live 2022.
Learn more and book tickets here