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SpaceX successfully deployed 24 satellites Tuesday in a complicated mission that unfortunately included the loss of the Falcon Heavy rocket’s center core.
The two side boosters – used in the last Falcon Heavy launch in April – had precise landings on pads at Cape Canaveral. However, the center core smashed into the ocean in a fiery crash. It was attempting to land on the drone ship ‘Of Course I Still Love You’ positioned in the Atlantic Ocean.
SpaceX has yet to successfully recover a center core from a Falcon Heavy launch.
Elon Musk had said that the mission was the company’s “most difficult launch ever.”
Coordinated by the Defense Department, the STP-2 mission took off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 2:30 a.m. ET. The Falcon Heavy carried 24 satellites into space for a range of agencies and organizations, including NASA, military research laboratories, and universities.
Watch the SpaceX broadcast below.