The Falcon Heavy, the world’s most powerful rocket operated by SpaceX, launched from Kennedy Space Center, FL, at 9:41 a.m. Tuesday carrying secretive payloads for the Space Force.
Dubbed USSF-44, the mission will deploy multiple satellites fielded by Space Systems Command’s Innovation and Prototyping Delta, SSC stated in an October press release.
The Space Force has released few details about the nature and objectives of the satellites. Mounted on an Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle Secondary Payload Adapter, or ESPA, ring manufactured by Northrop Grumman, the satellites will launch into geosynchronous orbit.
Liftoff of the Falcon Heavy marks the first launch for the system since June 2019, when the rocket catapulted 24 DOD Space Test Program satellites into orbit, the SSC press release says.
SpaceX planned to recover the two side rocket boosters of the Falcon Heavy, with the center booster left to fall into the ocean due to inadequate fuel. Approximately 10 minutes after launch, the two side boosters safely landed on ground pads, the company posted on Twitter.