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SpaceX launches Falcon Heavy
Posted: Sun, Feb 11, 2018, 9:50 AM ET (1450 GMT)
Falcon Heavy inaugural launch (J. Foust) SpaceX successfully launched its Falcon Heavy rocket, placing a demonstration payload, a sports car, into interplanetary space. The Falcon 9 lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39A at 3:45 pm EST (2045 GMT), near the end of its launch window because of gusting upper-level winds. The rocket placed the second stage and its payload, a modified Tesla Roadster, into an elliptical parking orbit. The second stage fired about six hours later to place it into a heliocentric orbit that goes just beyond the orbit of Mars. The two side boosters of the rocket landed back at Cape Canaveral, but the center core booster crashed into the ocean near its droneship landing pad when two of three engines failed to ignite for a landing burn. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said the success of the Falcon Heavy gives him confidence about the company's plans for the even larger BFR reusable launch vehicle.
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