SpaceX's Falcon Heavy launched from NASA's Kennedy Space Center on November 1, marking the fourth launch of the world's most powerful operational rocket.
The Falcon Heavy barreled its way to geostationary orbit carrying multiple classified payloads for the US Space Force under a mission directive called USSF-44, and while the payloads are unknown, as well as the orbital destination, we do know that the mission was a success and that Falcon Heavy Heavy's boosters made a safe landing back down on Earth.
For those that don't know, the Falcon Heavy is made up of three modified Falcon 9 first-stage boosters, SpaceX's most-active rocket that has launched on average at least once per week throughout 2022. The most recent launch of the Falcon Heavy marks the first launch of the world's largest operational rocket since June 2019. As I mentioned in a previous article, the Falcon Heavy is made up of three Falcon 9 first-stage boosters, but only two made it back down to Earth as SpaceX designed one of them to ditch into the ocean once it used up all of its propellants.
As with all SpaceX launches, Elon Musk's company live-streamed the event for the world to witness, and as both Falcon Heavy side boosters made their descent back down to Earth, an incredible sight beheld everyone that was watching as both first-stage boosters simultaneously touched down on their launch pads. Kate Tice, SpaceX quality systems engineering manager, announced during the live launch broadcast that both boosters had "successfully landed", and that with those two side boosters landing, it marked the 150th and 151st overall successful landings of an orbital-class rocket.
In other space news, a telescope captured the ghost of a giant star in a crazy 554-million-pixel image that is truly phenomenal to look at. Additionally, astronomers discovered a "planet killer" asteroid that was hiding in the Sun's glare, which is why researchers were unable to detect it previously. Furthermore, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has snapped a spooky image of cosmic cobwebs out in deep space. Lastly, Elon Musk has given an update on the return of banned Twitter accounts. More on all of those stories can be found in the selection of links below.
- Read more: Telescope captures the ghost of a giant star in a wild 554-million-pixel image
- Read more: NASA's Hubble telescope snaps spooky image of cosmic cobwebs out in space
- Read more: Scientists discover massive 'planet killer' asteroid hiding right next to Earth
- Read more: Elon Musk gives an update on banned accounts returning back to Twitter