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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

SpaceX Falcon Heavy Rocket Lofts 24 Satellites in 1st Night Launch

• https://www.space.com, By Meghan Bartels

SpaceX marked a milestone today as the company's Falcon Heavy megarocket successfully lofted two dozen satellites into orbit.

The rocket blasted off from Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) here at 2:30 a.m. EDT on June 25 (0630 GMT), three hours into the launch window, marking the Falcon Heavy's first flight at night and third launch overall. The launch was part of the U.S. Air Force's Space Test Program and carried payloads for universities, NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the nonprofit organization The Planetary Society.

As part of the mission, SpaceX successfully landed two of the megarocket's three first-stage boosters. The two side boosters touched down at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, which is next door to KSC, while the central core booster narrowly missed its target — SpaceX's drone ship Of Course I Still Love You, which was stationed in the Atlantic Ocean, hundreds of miles off the Florida coast.

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