SpaceX’s first Falcon Heavy rocket powered off launch pad 39A at 3:45 p.m. EST (2045 GMT) Tuesday on its inaugural test flight, and we captured the launcher’s spectacular liftoff from the Kennedy Space Center’s Press Site around 3 miles from the pad.
Photographer Walter Scriptunas II took these images of the 229-foot-tall (70-meter) rocket lifting off with nearly 5 million pounds of thrust and climbing into a sun-splashed Florida sky. The photo sequence also shows the Falcon Heavy’s two side boosters jettisoning from the center core, then descending back to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for landing.
Read more about the flight in our Mission Status Center.
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