CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — SpaceX hit several milestones with the launch of its Falcon Heavy rocket.
The rocket launched at about 2:30 a.m. ET Tuesday from pad 39A at Florida's Kennedy Space Center. The rocket is prepped to deliver 24 satellites from the Department of Defense, NASA, NOAA and several universities on the STP-2 vehicle.
Launch, or T-0, earlier was set for 11:30 p.m. Monday but was pushed back "to allow time for additional ground system checkouts," NASA tweeted.
SpaceX said the launch marks the first time it reused side boosters that were used on a previous Falcon Heavy mission. The side booster successfully landed at Zones 1 and 2. The Falcon Heavy's center core later crashed into the Atlantic Ocean, missing its mark on a droneship.
In a feat that clearly excited SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, the company was able to catch part of the Falcon Heavy's nosecone as it fell back to Earth. An offshore boat named Ms. Tree was outfitted with a giant net that caught the huge nosecone.
As with every rocket launch, Kennedy Space Center allowed visitors to watch the launch from the main complex and from special lawn areas just miles from pad 39A.
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