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SpaceX's most difficult launch yet proved to be as complicated as Elon Musk predicted.
After a picture-perfect night-time launch went off without a hitch, the Falcon Heavy was on its way. However, the center core booster which was poised to return to land on a droneship in the Atlantic, missed its mark and crashed into the ocean early in the mission. It wasn't all bad news however, with SpaceX demonstrating the first reuse and landing of the Heavy's two side rocket boosters.
World - Rocket - Florida - Cape - Canaveral
The world's most powerful rocket launched from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in the dead of night, lifting off at 2:30 a.m. ET in a dazzling flurry of flame, cutting a trail through the dark. The rideshare mission, known as STP-2, carried 24 satellites into orbit for the Department of Defense, as well as NASA, universities and the Planetary Society.
As the kids say: "This launch was straight fire"
Elon - Musk - SpaceX - CEO - Missions
Prior to launch Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO, was calling this one of the most difficult missions SpaceX has ever performed. A number of complex maneuvers were scheduled to take place, including four separate upper-stage engine burns, three separate deployment orbits and a total mission duration of over six hours.
One of the major triumphs was the reuse and successful landing of the the two side boosters flown on a previous Falcon Heavy mission. The charred metal tubes certainly showed signs of their off-world experience hours before launch, but when they ignited it was business as usual for the Heavy. The boosters landed safely back at the Cape Canaveral Landing Zone at 2:38 a.m ET, a burst of flame lighting up the night in SpaceX's infrared cameras.
Entry - Burn
But the dual side booster landing was just an appetizer. The main dish would be the center core booster landing...
(Excerpt) Read more at: CNET
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