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SpaceX launches mega rocket year after debut with sports car

Submitted by on April 12, 2019 – 12:02 amNo Comment

SpaceX launched its second supersized rocket and for the first time landed all three boosters Thursday, a year after sending up a sports car on the initial test flight.

The new and improved Falcon Heavy thundered into the early evening sky with a communication satellite called Arabsat, the rocket’s first paying customer.

The Falcon Heavy is the most powerful rocket in use today, with 27 engines firing at liftoff – nine per booster.

Eight minutes after liftoff, SpaceX landed two of the first-stage boosters back at Cape Canaveral, side by side, just like it did for the rocket’s debut last year. The core booster landed two minutes later on an ocean platform hundreds of miles offshore. That’s the only part of the first mission that missed.

The Falcon Heavy soared from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, using the same pad that shot Apollo astronauts to the moon a half-century ago and later space shuttle crews.

SpaceX chief Elon Musk put his own Tesla convertible on last year’s demo. The red Roadster – with a mannequin at the wheel – remains in a solar orbit stretching just past Mars.

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