After the successful launch of the Arabsat-6A satellite in its planned orbit, SpaceX also managed to put the three boosters of their Falcon Heavy rocket – a first for the private space company. During a previous test flight, SpaceX had landed and recovered only side boosters. The launch was also Falcon Heavy's first commercial project.
Falcon Heavy Lateral Boosters Land in Landing Zones 1 and 2 pic.twitter.com/nJCCaVHOeo
– SpaceX (@SpaceX) April 12, 2019
Three for three
After several delays in early April, Falcon Heavy took off at the opening of the launch window on April 11, shortly after 18:30. EDT. The takeoff took place smoothly, with the communications satellite deploying on its geosyncronial transfer orbit scheduled 34 minutes after launch.
And even before that, SpaceX was already celebrating the successful landing of Falcon Heavy's three individual boosters. The two side boosters detach earlier during the ascent and land on solid ground 8 minutes after launch. The central core, which flies higher to continue pushing the cargo to space, landed two minutes later. Because it flies higher and reaches speeds faster than side boosters, landing is a more delicate task. A SpaceX had missed on Falcon Heavy's last test flight in 2018. But this time, the main core landed safely on the drone "Of course, I still love you. "This prompted Elon Musk to tweet briefly," The Falcons have landed. "
Side boosters are already indicated for the next Falcon Heavy mission, currently scheduled for June. At the present time, it is not planned to reuse the core, but the possibility of using it is usually a vital tactic for SpaceX to reduce launch costs. Yesterday's flight and landing thus provide humanity with a glimpse of what we can expect from the future of spaceflight.
You can relive the entire launch and landing via the stream below.