SpaceX's Falcon Heavy has finally launched a 12.00 pm IST after a few delays. The rocket was launched from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This is the first time that a SpaceX launch has taken place at night.
It was scheduled to be launched on 24 June 11.35 pm EDT (25 June 9.00 am IST) but was delayed due to 'additional system checkouts' tweeted SpaceX.
Targeting T-0 of 2:30 a.m. EDT for Falcon Heavy launch of STP-2; team completed additional ground system checkouts. Vehicle and payload continue to look good
" SpaceX (@SpaceX) June 25, 2019
There are 24 payloads that will be launched at three different orbits and the rocket is expected to undergo four separate upper stage engine burns. Twelve minutes into the liftoff, deployment of the payloads will begin and it is expected to end almost four hours after the liftoff. The total mission is expected to last six hours.
Falcon Heavy has a successful launch. Image credit: SpaceX/Twitter
The mission is part of the US Department of Defense's (DOD) Space Test Program-2 (STP-2). NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will also be sending their experiments as a part of this mission. NASA has a Deep Space Atomic Clock, a new kind of green fuel that is part of this mission.
University experiments and payloads form private organizations are also being sent up along with 152 metal capsules of human ashes as a part of a private company.
The mission is reusing the side boosters from the Arabsat-6A mission from April. It made a successful landing on SpaceX's landing zones 1 and 2 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. This is the first time that the boosters have been reused in a Falcon Heavy mission.
The core centre was supposed to land on the 'Of Course I Love You' drone ship that is stationed in the Atlantic Ocean 768 miles away from shore, which is the furthest it has ever been. The core centre missed its mark on the landing pad and plunged into the ocean. The last time they tried to capture the core centre was not successful as well. The core landed on the pad but they lost it to the rough seas.