Science & Technology

World’s most powerful rocket lifts off on secretive US military mission

Miami, Nov 1 (EFE).- SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket lifted off on Tuesday from Cape Canaveral in Florida carrying two satellites for the US Armed Forces.

On a misty morning, the world’s most powerful operational rocket lifted off on schedule at Kennedy Space Center at 9:41 am local time as part of a US Space Force mission titled USSF-44.

Around eight minutes after launch, the two side-rockets successfully landed near each other on a pad at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station for later reuse in what were the 150th and 151st landings of SpaceX rockets.

It is SpaceX’s fourth launch of a Falcon Heavy, and the first by the private firm since 2019.

The 70-meter-tall, 12-meter-wide rocket completed its first test flight in 2018, when it put a Tesla car into orbit, followed by two more launches in April and June 2019, the latter of which sent up a group of experimental satellites on behalf of the US military and Nasa.

About six hours after liftoff, the two “classified” satellites, for which no information has been released, will enter geostationary orbit about 20,000 miles (32,000 km) above the Earth’s equator.

Officials at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station alerted local residents that the launch would produce a “sonic boom” during both the liftoff and landing of the two side-rockets.

More flights await the Falcon Heavy, especially after Nasa awarded SpaceX a $255 million contract in July for the 2026 launch of the Nancy Grace Roman space telescope via Falcon Heavy.

Elon Musk’s firm is developing an even more powerful rocket, the Starship, which could have its first test flight in space by the end of the year. EFE


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