Elon Musk owned SpaceX launches Falcon Heavy, world’s most powerful rocket for the first time in 3 years.
On Tuesday, November 1 at 9:41 a.m. ET, Falcon Heavy launched the USSF-44 mission to a geosynchronous Earth orbit from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, stated an official release.
"This was the first launch and landing of these Falcon Heavy side boosters, which will be prepared for re-flight on a future U.S. Space Force mission later this year," the release further stated.
According to the SpaceX official website, Falcon Heavy is the most powerful active rocket in the world. With the ability to lift into orbit nearly 64 metric tons (141,000 lb) Falcon Heavy can lift more than twice the payload of the next closest operational vehicle, the Delta IV Heavy. Falcon Heavy is composed of three Falcon 9 nine-engine cores whose 27 Merlin engines together generate more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff, equal to approximately eighteen 747 aircraft.
The mission, the first Falcon Heavy launch since June 2019, had been delayed for years by Space Force, according to SpaceX officials. The rocket's debut in February 2018 sent a cherry-red 2008 Tesla Roadster, Elon Musk's other company, Tesla, into space with a dummy driver named Starman as a test payload.
According to a report by CNN Business, “the car is still in the space, taking an oblong path around the sun that swings out as far as Mars’ orbital path.”
According to Reuters, roughly three minutes after the launch of Falcon Heavy, the two side boosters of the Falcon Heavy separated from the rocket's core stage in synchrony about 47 miles (29 km) above ground, diving backward for a supersonic free-fall toward land.
Minutes later, the pair of boosters, each some five stories tall, reignited their engines and landed almost simultaneously on adjacent concrete slabs, drawing roaring applause from engineers inside SpaceX's headquarters in Hawthorne, California, a company live stream showed.
It is SpaceX's 50th mission of 2022 and the fourth launch of the Falcon Heavy.
SpaceX to launch Starship into orbit for the first time in December 2022, NASA officials said on Monday.