Fri Apr 12, 2019, 06:04 AM

Elon Musk's SpaceX sends world's most powerful rocket on first commercial flight...

(Reuters) - The most powerful operational rocket in the world, SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy, launched its first commercial mission on Thursday from Florida in a key demonstration for billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s space company in the race to grasp lucrative military launch contracts.

The 23-story-tall Heavy, which previously launched Musk’s cherry red Tesla roadster to space in a 2018 debut test flight, blasted off from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center carrying its first customer payload.

“T plus 33 seconds into flight, under the power of 5.1 million pounds of thrust, Falcon Heavy is headed to space,” SpaceX launch commentator John Insprucker said on a livestream.

Roughly three minutes after clearing the pad, Heavy’s two side boosters separated from the core rocket for a synchronized landing at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, sparking boisterous cheers from SpaceX engineers in the company’s Hawthorne, California headquarters.

The middle booster, after pushing the payload into space, returned nearly 10 minutes later for a successful landing on SpaceX’s seafaring drone ship 400 miles (645 km) off the Florida coast. In the 2018 test mission, Heavy’s core booster missed the vessel and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean.

“The Falcons have landed” Musk wrote on Twitter, inaugurating the first successful recovery of all three rocket boosters, which will be refurbished and re-fly in another Falcon Heavy mission this summer to carry a swarm of military and science satellites for the Air Force.

Liftoff with Heavy’s new military-certified Falcon 9 engines was crucial in the race with Boeing-Lockheed venture United Launch Alliance and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin as Musk’s SpaceX, working to flight-prove its rocket fleet one mission at a time, aims to clinch a third of all U.S. National Security Space missions - coveted military contracts worth billions.

It's great seeing America becoming great again!

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Reply Elon Musk's SpaceX sends world's most powerful rocket on first commercial flight... (Original post)
quad489 Apr 2019 OP
JaimeBondoJr Apr 2019 #1
quad489 Apr 2019 #2

Response to quad489 (Original post)

Fri Apr 12, 2019, 09:55 AM

1. Watched it live. Awesome. Seeing those three boosters come down successfully was great.

I was impressed at how fast the two smaller boosters were falling, then landed light as feathers.

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Response to JaimeBondoJr (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 12, 2019, 11:36 AM

2. It's so cool to see sci-fi become sci-reality............

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