The U.S. private space company Space X on Tuesday launched its rocket Falcon Heavy carrying 24 satellites into three different orbits in the most difficult ever mission.
The Falcon Heavy, the world’s most powerful operational rocket, blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center in the U.S. state of Florida at 2:30 a.m. American Eastern Time (06:30 GMT).
This is Falcon Heavy’s third launch and its first nighttime launch.
The mission, dubbed STP-2 for the Department of Defence’s Space Test Programme 2, is one of the most challenging launches in Space X history.
According to Space X, the mission owing to four separate upper stage engine burns, three separate deployment orbits and a total mission duration of over six hours.
The company said spacecraft deployments began about 12 minutes after liftoff, the deployments are expected to last more than three hours.
SpaceX said that the rocket also reused the recovered side boosters from the last Falcon Heavy launch in April.
According to a live broadcast, side boosters of the reusable rocket had been recovered nearly nine minutes after the liftoff, but its center core stage landing seemingly failed afterwards. (Xinhua/NAN)