Elon Musk's SpaceX sends world's most powerful rocket on first commercial flight

Elon Musk's SpaceX sends world's most powerful rocket on first commercial flight

SpaceX staff and engineers were thrilled that each of 3 key rocket elements (the core rocket and two side boosters) were successfully returned after the launch.

The Falcon Heavy soared from NASA's Kennedy Space Center, using the same pad that shot Apollo astronauts to the moon a half-century ago and later space shuttle crews. In less than three minutes after the launch, the two side booster were separated and started to travel towards the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. It's a particularly notable one, being Falcon Heavy's second flight ever and the very first commercial launch for the gargantuan launch vehicle.

When the Falcon boosters return, the two side boosters descend together, side-by-side - coming back to their own landing zones as if you had been watching the flight on rewind.

NASA tweeted: "Congratulations to @SpaceX on today's successful launch and landing of the Falcon Heavy rocket!"

Privately owned SpaceX, also known as Space Exploration Technologies Corp, was founded in 2002 by Musk, who is also a co-founder of electric auto maker Tesla Inc.

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SpaceX and Boeing Co are vying to send humans to space from US soil for the first time in almost a decade under NASA's Commercial Crew Program. During the 2018 test flight, the core booster missed the mark and fell into the Atlantic Ocean. The red Roadster - with a mannequin, dubbed Starman, likely still at the wheel - remains in a solar orbit stretching just past Mars.

SpaceX set a company record past year with 21 launches for customers. SpaceX already has another Falcon Heavy launch planned for June, a US Air Force mission called STP-2 that consists of dozens of small satellites.

The satellite was safely deployed in orbit just more than half-hour after launch, giving SpaceX a flawless launch.

On Falcon Heavy's maiden voyage into space in February 2018, an estimated 100,000 visitors came to watch. Now, it's landing three boosters in a single mission, one of which is in the middle of the ocean.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida-SpaceX has delayed the launch of its newest mega rocket because of dangerously high wind.

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