At the end of Sunday, January 15, SpaceX, owned by the famous billionaire Elon Musk, made another space launch, this time using its largest Falcon Heavy equipment, consisting of three Falcon rockets.
With that, a live broadcast of the launch conducted at Kennedy Space Center, in Cape Canaveral, Florida, has produced stunning images of the moment the two side thrusters separated and began spinning back to Earth, both landing aft at the launch center.
In the video available below, it is possible to follow the moment of launch, followed by the separation of the two lateral thrusters 2 minutes and 30 seconds after launch, and from that moment onwards, stunning images can be captured of both the spinning, the initiation of the thrust to return and the initiation of the descent.
SpaceX returns its rockets to Earth and lands them upright so they can be reused over and over again, greatly reducing the cost of space launches. Sunday’s two touchdowns were the 163rd and 164th successfully executed by Musk.
The launch seen in the above footage boosted the US Space Force’s USSF-67 mission, which deployed two main payloads into geosynchronous orbit more than 20,000 miles (32,200 km) above the equator.
Major General Stephen Purdy, executive director of the US Secured Space Access Program, said:
“We had another great launch today in the Falcon Heavy, just two months after the first national security launch mission using this launch system.
While the launch itself was impressive, I am very proud of the fact that we have put important resources into space that help our nation survive against very real and growing threats.
We are certainly on a streak of 96 successful national security launches in a row, and the bottom line is we really have a great team working together on the most challenging launch profiles to ensure our mission partners go into orbit with confidence.”
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