SpaceX's Falcon Heavy launches USSF-67 mission from Florida
- United States
Video Credit: Twitter (@SpaceX)
SpaceX's powerful Falcon Heavy rocket successfully launched the U.S. Space Force's USSF-67 mission to a geosynchronous Earth orbit on Sunday, January 15. The rocket lifted off at 5:56 p.m. ET from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The mission launched the U.S. Space Force's second Continuous Broadcast Augmenting SATCOM, or CBAS 2, communications satellite and the Long Duration Propulsive ESPA 3A, or LDPE 3A, rideshare satellite hosting multiple experimental payloads.
Following stage separation, Falcon Heavy's two first-stage side boosters returned to Earth and landed at Landing Zone 1 (LZ-1) and Landing Zone 2 (LZ-2) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. This was the second launch and landing of these Falcon Heavy side boosters, which previously supported USSF-44.
Falcon Heavy’s side boosters have landed pic.twitter.com/jzxIbHSfFR— SpaceX (@SpaceX) January 15, 2023
For the unversed, Falcon Heavy is one of the world’s most powerful operational rockets. Composed of three reusable Falcon 9 nine-engine cores, the powerful rocket can lift nearly 64 metric tons (141,000 lbs) to orbit.
"With more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff, Falcon Heavy is one of the most capable rockets flying. By comparison, the liftoff thrust of the Falcon Heavy equals approximately eighteen 747 aircraft at full power. Falcon Heavy can lift the equivalent of a fully loaded 737 jetliner—complete with passengers, luggage and fuel—to orbit," the SpaceX website says.