Elon Musk’s SpaceX has launched Falcon Heavy, the world’s most powerful active rocket, into space once again after over three years.
According to CNET, on November 1 at 9.43 a.m. ET (7.13 p.m. IST), the Falcon Heavy mission, known as USSF 44, lifted off from pad 39-A at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center with a military micro-satellite prototype named TETRA-1 and a larger, unconfirmed satellite.
The rocket’s side boosters returned for a successful, nearly simultaneous landing not far from the launch pad less than 10 minutes after liftoff. After launching a classified payload into orbit for the US Space Force, the central core booster was disposed of in the ocean.
The mission was originally scheduled for 2020, but it has been delayed due to payload problems, it added.
The last Falcon Heavy mission in 2019 served as a test of the rocket’s reliability for national security missions for the Air Force.
This rocket is made up of three Falcon 9 boosters bolted together for a force three times that of a Falcon 9. Despite the configuration being less powerful than NASA’s delayed Artemis I Space Launch System or the Starship and Super Heavy will eventually be, it’s the most powerful rocket in operation today.
The landed side boosters could be used once more in a subsequent mission for national security, according to SpaceX. Although another Falcon Heavy launch of a commercial satellite is scheduled to occur as early as December, reports CNET.