Aerospace transport company SpaceX launched Falcon Heavy, its largest rocket, on Tuesday with 24 satellites on board belonging to the Pentagon, NASA and other public and private clients.
The launch of the Falcon Heavy occurred at the John F. Kennedy Space Center (Florida, USA) at 02.30 local time (06.30 GMT), three hours later than originally planned due to additional tests on rocket systems .
The mission, called the Space Test Program-2 (STP-2) by the Department of Defense and managed by the Air Force Space Command and the Space and Missile Systems Center, is scheduled to last about six hours until its return to Land.
It is the third flight of the Falcon Heavy after the first, test, which he did last year, and the second, in April, to launch a satellite of Saudi telecommunications to space.
It is the first time that the Pentagon has authorized the launch of its equipment in a reused rocket.
The founder and owner of SpaceX, Elon Musk, had defined today’s launch as “the most difficult” in the history of the aerospace company.
The Falcon Heavy will launch in the next hours in three different levels of space a total of 24 satellites belonging to the Pentagon, NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and private companies, such as the Planetary Society, which sends a solar sail demonstrator.
It also includes an Air Force research satellite, the so-called “atomic clock” from NASA or a satellite also from NASA with fuel based on hydroxylammonium nitrate, never before tested and less polluting than the habitually used and very toxic hydrazine .
The rocket will also launch the ashes of 152 people into space.