Elon Musk called it SpaceX’s “most difficult launch ever,” but the trouble arose during landing, as the center core of the Falcon Heavy rocket crashed into a droneship in the Atlantic Ocean.
The STP-2 mission carried two dozen satellites into orbit for NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a Department of Defense test program, and a number of universities. The rocket lifted off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 2:30 am, its first night flight.
Two of the Falcon Heavy’s side boosters successfully touched down at Cape Canaveral, SpaceX reported.
Takeoff, and the boosters’ landing, can be seen in this footage. Credit: Respective Collective via Storyful