SpaceX launched Falcon Heavy, the most powerful rocket in the world

The American company SpaceX flew its Falcon Heavy launch vehicle from Florida on Tuesday, the most powerful operational rocket in the world today, for its first launch since 2019.

The rocket lifted off around 9:40 a.m. local time from launch pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center on a mission dubbed USSF-44, carrying cargo on behalf of the US space force, including a satellite named TETRA 1.

A few minutes after liftoff, the rocket’s two boosters returned to land on Earth. The central floor will not be recovered.

The Falcon Heavy rocket first flew in a test in 2018, carrying SpaceX boss Elon Musk’s Tesla car.

Tuesday was Falcon Heavy’s third operational and commercial flight, with the last one taking place in June 2019.

SpaceX currently has two operational rockets. The first is the Falcon 9, used in particular to transport NASA astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS), or to launch the satellites of the SpaceX constellation providing internet from space, Starlink.

The second is Falcon Heavy, which is used to launch much heavier payloads or to more distant orbits. The rocket is capable of carrying up to 64 tons into Earth orbit.

NASA has notably chosen the Falcon Heavy to launch certain components of its future space station into orbit around the Moon.

On its base in Texas, SpaceX is separately developing another rocket, Starship, consisting of a spacecraft mounted on a first stage, named Super Heavy. But this rocket has never flown in its full configuration. Only the ship made suborbital test flights, several of which ended in impressive explosions.


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