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SpaceX Launches Falcon Heavy Rocket With 24 Satellites After 3-Hour Delay

Falcon Heavy was carrying satellites of various agencies and organizations, including NASA, military research laboratories, and universities.

Jun 25, 2019 16:11 IST
SpaceX Launched Falcon Heavy Rocket

SpaceX launched its Falcon Heavy rocket on June 25, 2019 from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA. It was carrying 24 experimental satellites in what Elon Musk's rocket company called one of the most difficult launches it has attempted. The craft blasted off to cheers from onlookers at 2:30 am. Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. launched its Falcon Heavy rocket for the U.S. military.

After a three-hour delay from the original launch time, the boosters separated safely and the craft began its six-hour mission to deploy the satellites. The mission, dubbed Space Test Program 2 (STP-2), is the third one for the Falcon heavy rocket, described as the most powerful launch system in the world. The Falcon Heavy was slated to travel to three different drop off points in orbit.

Key Highlights

•    Falcon Heavy was carrying satellites of various agencies and organizations, including NASA, military research laboratories, and universities.
•    Mission was included a satellite that will test new telescope technologies, and one that hosts a futuristic atomic clock.
•    Another is a solar sail project that has been centuries in the making. It's funded by The Planetary Society, a nonprofit headed by Bill Nye.
•    It's called LightSail-2 and is designed to travel through space propelled by nothing but sunlight.
•    LightSail 2 will deploy razor-thin sheets of polyester to form a sail that's 32 square meters, or about the size of a boxing ring.

Falcon Heavy Rocket

The Falcon Heavy is a partially reusable heavy-lift launch vehicle designed and manufactured by SpaceX. It is derived from the Falcon 9 vehicle and consists of a strengthened Falcon 9 first stage as the center core with two additional first stages as strap-on boosters. The Falcon Heavy has the highest payload capacity of any currently operational launch vehicle, the second-highest capacity of any rocket ever to reach orbit, trailing the Saturn V, and the third-highest capacity of any orbital-class rocket ever launched.

The Falcon Heavy was designed to carry humans into space beyond low Earth orbit, although as of February 2018, Musk does not plan to apply for a human-rating certification to carry NASA astronauts. The Falcon Heavy and Falcon 9 will be replaced by the Starship and Super Heavy launch system.

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