- The launch was the second in history for Falcon Heavy.
- The rocket has 5 million pounds of thrust.
- SpaceX and other companies are focused on returning humans to space.
SpaceX achieved the launch of its Falcon Heavy rocket and the landing of three reinforcements on Thursday, marking another milestone for the company and the space industry in general.
The Falcon Heavy, with 27 engines and 5 million pounds of thrust, is twice as powerful as any other rocket currently in operation and could be used to send astronauts back to the Moon. It is also paving the way for a new rocket, the Falcon Super., that SpaceX says that one day I could fly missions to Mars.
The launch was the second for Falcon Heavy, just over a year after last year's inaugural trip that launched a Tesla into orbit as a test of rocket skills.
"Congratulations to @SpaceX for the successful launch and launch today of the Falcon Heavy rocket! From our iconic launch platforms at @NASAKennedy, we will continue to support the growing commercial space economy," NASA wrote on Thursday night.
(PLUS: Israeli lunar lander crashes on the lunar surface)
The rocket was lifted at 6:35 p.m. of the iconic Launch Pad 39A of the Kennedy Space Center, the same place that launched the Apollo 11 mission to the moon 50 years ago, in July. Thousands of tourists and locals crowded onto beaches, coasts and parking lots to observe the Falcon Heavy as it soared through a blue sky over the Atlantic Ocean.
Two of the propellers had to land eight minutes later at the nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, sending out four sonic explosions that vibrated on the Space Coast. The third landed as planned on the unmanned "Of course, I love you" from SpaceX that floats several thousand kilometers from the coast.
SpaceX routinely lands impellers on Falcon 9 rockets on the ground or on the ship, but this was the first time that three impellers landed successfully. Reinforcements are likely to be reused in other launches, a hallmark of SpaceX rocket technology.
In the first launch of Falcon Heavy last year, two reinforcements landed successfully in the air force station, but the third lost its mark on the ship and landed in the Atlantic.
SpaceX also recovered the fairings. – or cone of the nose. SpaceX founder Elon Musk said the nose cone would be reused as early as next month on the company's first planned Starlink mission. to launch a vast network of communications satellites.
The Falcon Heavy wore the ArabSat 6A, a communications satellite from Saudi Arabia and the first commercial payload of the rocket.
With 13,000 pounds, the satellite is modest compared to 141,000 pounds of payload that the Falcon Heavy can handle. Or as SpaceX says: the Heavy can carry a mbad greater than a 737 plane loaded with pbadengers, crew, luggage and fuel.
NASA's transformation of the Kennedy Space Center into a multi-user spaceport with private tenants has driven a kind of modern space race between private corporations, including SpaceX, Blue Origin, Boeing and others competing to build the first rockets or capsules of the crew that could launch humans into space for the first time since last time. Mission of the space shuttle in 2011.
Of eight releases tentatively scheduled for the rest of the year at the space center, at least five of them involve rocket or capsule tests designed to carry crews. In addition to efforts toward the Moon and beyond, manned rockets could transport astronauts to and from the International Space Center, a mission that used to be carried out by the Space Shuttle. Currently, the USA UU They rely on Russia to fly American astronauts, while SpaceX has a lucrative contract to fly several refueling missions to the station each year.