SpaceX has successfully launched a Falcon Heavy rocket carrying 24 experimental satellites. Billionaire Elon Musk’s tech company says it’s one of the toughest launches ever.
The Falcon Heavy rocket launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 2:30 a.m. on June 25, according to Reuters.
The event was delayed nearly three hours from the original plan. The planned rocket was scheduled to take off late on the night of June 24. The time Falcon Heavy lifted off fell near the 4-hour limit to launch the rocket, according to New York Times.
This is the rocket’s third spaceflight. During the first test launch in 2018, the rocket took the next-generation electric car from Tesla, a tech company also owned by billionaire Elon Musk, into space.
The second rocket launch mission took place in April, putting a Saudi telecommunications satellite into Earth orbit.
SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy is outfitted with two boosters at Launch Site 39A in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Photo: SpaceX
The Falcon Heavy rocket is heading into space for the third time to complete the Space Test Program 2 mission. This is a partnership program between SpaceX and the US Department of Defense, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) ), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and many other private companies.
The rocket carried 24 satellites, including one carrying the ashes of 152 people and one of the US Air Force. The total number of satellites is integrated into a “package” and will be separated from the rocket sequentially in different orbits.
Billionaire Elon Musk wants to build reusable rocket technology and save on manufacturing costs. During this launch, SpaceX will also seek to recover the three boosters on Earth. Two auxiliary boosters are scheduled to land at Kennedy Space Center at the same time.
The Falcon Heavy core rocket is the hardest to land and only landed successfully last April. The floating platform called “Of Course I Still Love You” intended to receive the central rocket is located more than 1,100 km off the coast of Florida.