As Elon Musk had planned, the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket blasted off from Florida in its debut test flight on Tuesday. The 23-story tall Falcon Heavy roared off its launch pad at 3:45 p.m. EST (2:15am IST) at the Kennedy Space Centre in Cape Canaveral, from the same site used by NASA’s towering Saturn 5 rockets to carry Apollo missions to the moon more than 40 years ago.
With the successful launch, the new SpaceX jumbo rocket is in-line to become the world’s most powerful launch vehicle in operation blasted off from Florida on Tuesday in its debut test launch. SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk, as planned, sent his own Tesla roadster into space aboard the world’s most powerful rocket in operation, the Falcon Heavy — to the tune of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity.” After a delay of almost over two hours, the Falcon Heavy finally took off at 2:15am IST.
In addition to the primary mission of launching and delivering Falcon Heavy’s payload to its intended orbit, SpaceX also successfully landed Falcon Heavy’s side cores Landing Zones 1 and 2.Following the booster separation, Falcon Heavy’s two side cores returned to land at SpaceX’s Landing Zones 1 and 2 (LZ-1 & LZ-2) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. While the Falcon Heavy’s centre core will attempt to land on the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean,” SpaceX confirmed in a press statement.
spaceX has landed a first stage booster at Landing Zone 1 nine times prior to this mission and has successfully recovered Falcon 9 first stages from 12 missions at sea using the company’s Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ships.
When the Falcon Heavy lifted off from the same NASA launchpad that was the base for the Apollo-era Moon missions of the 1960s and 1970s, it became the “most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two,” SpaceX said.