SpaceX launches first Falcon Heavy rocket in three years
Under the cover of fog, SpaceX launched a Falcon Heavy rocket with the classified USSF-44 mission for the United States Space Force.
At 9:41 a.m. EDT (13:41 UTC) Nov. 1, 2022, the triple-core Falcon Heavy rocket launched to space from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The highly anticipated launch saw the two side boosters return to Landing Zone 1 and Landing Zone 2
Additionally, the two fairing halves are expected to be recovered from the Atlantic Ocean by SpaceX recovery ship Doug. The center core, whoever, was sacrificed in order to allow for more performance from the second stage. As such, it had no recovery equipment and was expended.
The contents of this payload is suspected to include a military communication satellite, but no details have been shared with the general public other than there are six payloads aboard the vehicle bound for insertion in a geostationary orbit.
This launch was the first Falcon Heavy flown since 2019 and marks the fourth flight of the SpaceX mega rocket since its debut in 2018.
The rocket experienced delays associated with the payload, the USSF-44 mission was originally set for launch in late 2020.
A few necessary modifications were made to Falcon Heavy ahead of launch and its long duration in space. A coat of gray paint was added to the outside of the upper stage’s kerosene tank to help prevent the fuel from freezing in the unforgiving coldness of space.
SpaceX reached a new benchmark with the launch of USSF-44. It was the first national security mission to fly atop a Falcon Heavy rocket.
Video courtesy of SpaceX
Theresa Cross grew up on the Space Coast. It’s only natural that she would develop a passion for anything “Space” and its exploration. During these formative years, she also discovered that she possessed a talent and love for defining the unique quirks and intricacies that exist in mankind, nature, and machines. Hailing from a family of photographers—including her father and her son, Theresa herself started documenting her world through pictures at a very early age. As an adult, she now exhibits an innate photographic ability to combine what appeals to her heart and her love of technology to deliver a diversified approach to her work and artistic presentations. Theresa has a background in water chemistry, fluid dynamics, and industrial utility.