For the very first time ever, SpaceX successfully landed all three boosters, including the center core. The center core landed successfully on the drone ship Of Course I Still Love You after Falcon Heavy’s launch today, marking a historic first in SpaceX’s history.
This is a photo from the live stream showing the center core successfully landed.
Unfortunately, the live stream went out just as it was about to make the landing. This was the screen as people cheered and the core landed:
Here are photos of the side boosters successfully landing before the center core. SpaceX has landed the side boosters successfully on many occasions but the center core was a first.
People on Twitter and around the world are celebrating the successful center core landing.
The Falcon Heavy launched at 6:35 p.m. Eastern after being delayed one day due to wind shear.
The satellite will be deployed about 34 minutes after liftoff. After booster separation, the two side boosters landed at SpaceX’s two landing zones at Cape Canaveral Air Force base in Florida. The center core also landed on the droneship in the Atlantic Ocean called “Of Course I Still Love You.”
Here’s the mission timeline for today, as shared by SpaceX. The times are in minutes and seconds after launch and some parts of the timeline have already occurred.
- 01:09 Max Q (moment of peak mechanical stress on the rocket)
- 02:30 Booster engine cutoff (BECO)
- 02:34 Side boosters separate from center core
- 02:51 Side boosters begin boostback burn
- 03:31 Center core engine shutdown/main engine cutoff (MECO)
- 03:35 Center core and 2nd stage separate
- 03:42 2nd stage engine starts
- 04:07 Fairing deployment
- 06:11 Side boosters begin entry burn
- 07:00 Center core begins entry burn
- 07:51 Side booster landings
- 08:48 2nd stage engine cutoff (SECO-1)
- 09:48 Center core landing
- 27:34 2nd stage engine restarts
- 29:00 2nd stage engine cutoff (SECO-2)
- 34:02 Arabsat-6A satellite deployment
Some are asking about the fairing, but SpaceX was not planning on trying to catch the fairings today, although they will be retrieved.