It was perhaps the most talked-about part of last week’s launch of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy: a pair of rocket boosters, making a perfectly synchronized return to their landing pads on Earth
Now video taken by two Florida residents offers a close-up look at the SpaceX Falcon Heavy’s twin rocket boosters landing after completing their history-making mission.
In the first clip, Cape Caneveral, Fla., resident Michael Evans got a front-row seat as the twin boosters came down onto their landing pad just a short distance away.
Elliot Miller got an even closer look a short while later as the rocket was resting on its landing pad, blowing off the large amount of soot that accrued during the launch.
On Feb. 6, SpaceX made history with the launch of the Falcon Heavy, which at liftoff set the record for most powerful rocket in the world.
For SpaceX, the private rocket company run by entrepreneur Elon Musk, it was a (mostly) triumphant test of a new, larger rocket designed to hoist super-sized satellites as well as equipment to the moon, Mars or other far-flung points.
Two of the Falcon Heavy’s rocket boosters— both recycled from previous launches — returned minutes after liftoff for on-the-mark touchdowns at Cape Canaveral.
Musk later revealed the third booster, brand new, slammed into the Atlantic at 300 mph and missed the floating landing platform, scattering shrapnel all over the deck and knocking out two engines.
He was unfazed by the lost booster and said watching the other two land upright probably was the most exciting thing he’s ever seen.
For the test flight, a red sports car made by another of Musk’s companies, Tesla, was the unusual cargo, enclosed in protective covering for the launch.
“It’s kind of silly and fun, but I think that silly and fun things are important,” said the SpaceX chief who is keen to colonize Mars. “The imagery of it is something that’s going to get people excited around the world.”
-With files from Marcia Dunn with the Associated Press
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