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SpaceX loses Falcon Heavy center core in fiery explosion during failed landing (VIDEO)

In its latest audacious mission to retrieve rockets after launch, SpaceX fell just short with its center core booster overshooting the sea-based landing pad, crashing into the water with a fiery explosion.

The company’s third Falcon Heavy launch was dubbed its “most difficult launch ever,” given the multitude of satellites, deployments and ‘moving parts’ within the mission. Everything was going well, with full deployment of its payload and the safe landing of both side booster rockets. But then the mission hit a rather explosive snag:

The two Falcon Heavy side boosters were reused for the first time and will live to fly another day, which is more than can be said for the central core.

Apart from that fiery end, the mission was a success with the launch of some 24 satellites and the ‘cremains,’ or cremated remains, of 152 people on board (at a cost of $5,000 per gram of ashes), including those of Apollo program support astronaut Bill Pogue.

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Among the satellites launched was a solar sail test satellite; a deep space Atomic Clock, and a new type of green propellant for NASA.

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