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"An Unbelievable Premiere": SpaceX successfully launches the Falcon Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral





CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. ̵

1; SpaceX successfully launched its Falcon Heavy rocket early Tuesday morning from the Kennedy Space Center. According to the company, this was one of the most complicated launches so far.

The rocket fired at exactly 2:30 pm, three hours after the launch window opened at 11:30 pm.

After launch, the core of the missile could not land on a drone ship on the Atlantic, but the side boosters landed successfully at the Cape and produced a supersonic blast that the Central Flanders reported reaching as far as Clermont and Davenport.


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The boosters landed about 10 minutes after take-off and the core missed its target about 2 minutes later.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk described the launch as "the toughest start ever" and one of the company's most challenging missions.

The launch should be the first night mission of the Falcon Heavy rocket. It was also the first time SpaceX has launched satellites and other experiments in three separate lanes.

The rocket deployed two dozen spaceships that took hours and required some complicated maneuvers.

"Obviously, the more orbits you need for payloads, the harder the mission," said Phil Liebrecht of NASA.

NASA officials said there were four NASA payloads on board alongside Defense Department satellites that are part of the Space Test Program 2 mission.

Payloads include new technologies to improve the propulsion and navigation of spacecraft.

READ MORE: Aboard Falcon Heavy: Six 'Weather Eyes' to fill gaps in weather and climate data

The first is NASA's Deep Space Atomic Clock (DSAC), which works like a GPS for orbiting satellites.

At present, spacecraft flying over the earth do not have a GPS system, and the DSAC function will help spacecraft navigate autonomously.

NASA's scientific missions are also on board to better understand the nature of space and its effects on spacecraft and the ground.

"This launch was a true government-industry partnership and an incredible debut for the US Space and Missile Center," said Jim Reuter, NASA Space Technology Space Deputy Administrator.

"The NASA missions aboard the Falcon Heavy also benefited from close collaboration with industry, academia and other government organizations."

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