The launch essentially went without a hitch. A few minutes into the flight, the two side boosters of the rocket – this was the first time the Heavy used previously launched boosters for a mission – made it back in one piece and landed at the company’s designated zones on the coast of Florida.
A more tragic outcome was reserved for the rocket’s core booster. Dubbed by Elon Musk a problematic recovery, the landing of the core stage, scheduled to take place on a drone ship located off coast, failed.
According to initial information, the booster missed its mark and hit the water. Its condition is unknown at this point.
As parts of the rocket were heading back to Earth, the nose of the Heavy began unloading its cargo in orbit. One after another, the satellites started being deployed, and the process continues at the time of this writing.
Among the many hardware sent to space several experiments stand out. The Falcon Heavy transported on location above Earth important science for the future of space exploration, like NASA’s Deep Space Atomic Clock (DSAC) or Bill Nye’s LightSail 2.
DSAC will be used by the American space agency as a means to test the viability of positioning systems for future spacecraft, while the LightSail is another attempt to prove sails powered by solar radiation could be a viable means of propulsion in space.
Falcon Heavy’s STP-2 mission was also the first that carried hardware for the U.S. Air Force.
Below is a the ongoing live stream of the Falcon Heavy mission.