SpaceX's 'challenging' Falcon Heavy mission launch goes 2/3 on booster landings

Richard Lawler
Senior News Editor
SpaceX's 'challenging' Falcon Heavy mission launch goes 2/3 on booster landings

Last year SpaceX launched its massive Falcon Heavy rocket for the first time , but the company describes tonight's STP-2 mission as one of the "most challenging" launches in its history. It's also the first Falcon Heavy launch to reuse side boosters, which previously took flight just 74 days ago on the Arabsat-6A mission . The tricky part is after it takes off, with a planned "four separate upper-stage engine burns, three separate deployment orbits, a final propulsive passivation maneuver and a total mission duration of over six hours." SpaceX's mission animation video shows what we're expecting to see: