First launch of a large SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket in three years

First launch of a large SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket

The first Falcon Heavy launch since 2019 took out from Florida’s Cape Canaveral on November 1, the morning after Halloween, beneath a lingering eerie shroud of fog, giving the largest operating rocket in the world an added bonus.

The rocket’s side boosters returned for a successful, nearly simultaneous landing not far from the launch pad less than ten minutes after liftoff. After launching a secret payload into orbit for the US Space Force, the central core booster was abandoned in the ocean.

At 9:43 a.m. ET (6:43 a.m. PT), the USSF 44 Falcon Heavy mission carrying a military micro-satellite prototype named TETRA-1 and a bigger, unconfirmed satellite lifted out from pad 39-A at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center.

The mission has been repeatedly delayed due to unknown payload problems since it was initially scheduled for 2020.

Launched For The First Time In 2018

The hype surrounding Elon Musk’s even larger Starship rocket and its companion Super Heavy booster, which NASA hopes will return astronauts to the moon and which Musk dreams of using to build a society on Mars, seemed to overshadow SpaceX’s large triple rocket soon after it launched for the first time in 2018.

First launch of a large SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket in three years

However, Falcon Heavy is still the vehicle with the biggest power in the SpaceX hangar that has reached orbit. In 2018, its initial flight sent a Tesla toward the red planet. It took flight twice more, both in 2019.

Three Falcon 9 boosters are basically joined to create the Falcon Heavy, which has three times the thrust. It is now the most potent operational rocket in the world, although being less potent than NASA’s delayed Artemis I Space Launch System or the Starship and Super Heavy will someday be.

The launch may be seen again above. The satellites’ launch is not being webcast because of their secret status.

The landed side rockets might be utilized once again in a subsequent flight for national security, according to SpaceX. Although another Falcon Heavy launch of a commercial satellite is scheduled to occur as early as December, that might happen as soon as January.