SpaceX loses Falcon Heavy’s center core in an otherwise successful launch

The center core of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket crashed into the ocean as it attempted to land on a drone ship early Tuesday morning. While the momentous launch has been otherwise successful for SpaceX, the crash means that SpaceX still has yet to recover a center core from any of its Falcon Heavy launches.

Before the launch, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk called this the “most difficult launch ever.” The Falcon Heavy was tasked with carrying 24 satellites into space, delivering them to four different orbits. The complicated mission has especially high stakes for the company, and was designed to prove to the Air Force that they are capable of carrying out national security missions in the future.

After a smooth takeoff, the Falcon Heavy’s boosters...

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