SpaceX landed its first rocket booster in December 2015 at Cape Canaveral on the original concrete landing pad. From there, it took three more attempts to adhere one of those sea landings. But between last year’s inaugural Falcon Heavy launch and that point, SpaceX rattled off 20 powerful landings with only one failure. And because last year’s initial Falcon Heavy launch, the company has only had one ineffective booster landing.
Observing the launch of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy, all three of the booster cores of the rocket landed back on Earth. This rocket’s two outer cores touched down at Cape Canaveral, Florida near the website of the launch. The middle core touched down in the Atlantic Ocean one of the drone ships of the company.
SpaceX first attempted these landings that a bit over four years ago with its Falcon 9 rocket boosters. The first try at sea (in January 2015) finished in a spectacular fireball after the booster slammed to the drone ship, video of that SpaceX published on Vine. The second tried landing was April 2015, along with the booster almost created it, but finally tipped over and exploded.
It’s the first time that SpaceX has landed all three rocket cores from one Falcon Heavy flight. The first time Falcon Heavy flew, back in February of 2018, only it was made by the two outer cores back to Earth in one piece. The center core of the launch missed its target drone boat, as it failed to light all three engines needed to property because of a fuel shortage. So instead the rocket booster slammed to the ocean at 300 mph. Still, the synchronized booster landing became one of the most iconic images of this launching, together with most likening it to a ballet.
But today, SpaceX was able to stick all 3 landings, and it may have helped that all three boosters used for this flight were upgraded versions of the rockets of SpaceX, understands as Block 5. This version is made to optimize reusability, which makes it more easy for SpaceX to land the vehicles and then turn them around quickly.