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5 Feb, 2018 18:07

SpaceX plans audacious triple landing after launching ‘world’s most powerful rocket’

SpaceX plans audacious triple landing after launching ‘world’s most powerful rocket’

SpaceX is all set to launch its most powerful rocket to date in the form of the Falcon Heavy – and not only that, it's planning a high-stakes triple landing for the core components.

Falcon Heavy essentially looks like three SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets strapped together. When it launches on Tuesday, Elon Musk’s brainchild project will attempt to land all three of Heavy’s first stage core boosters – at the same time.

READ MORE: Elon Musk's epic montage of explosive SpaceX fails (VIDEO)

“Following booster separation, Falcon Heavy’s two side cores will return to land at SpaceX’s Landing Zones 1 and 2 (LZ-1 & LZ-2) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida,” SpaceX confirmed, as cited by Business Wire.

“Falcon Heavy’s center core will attempt to land on the ‘Of Course I Still Love You’ droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean,” the company added. SpaceX has some form in landing the Falcon 9 rockets.

Falcon 9s have safely returned to Earth, either touching down on land or on robotic drone ships, a total of 21 times so far. As part of it’s reusable rocket remit, SpaceX has reflown boosters six times.

Falcon Heavy’s inaugural flight will go a step further if all three components manage a safe return. The massive rocket, billed by the company as “the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two,” can lift a payload of nearly 64 metric tons (141,000 lb) – more than a fully laden 737 aircraft – into space.

For this test mission, the payload will be both lighter and less typical than your average space launch. A red Tesla Roadster, complete with a dummy passenger called Starman, is acting as unconventional ballast on board and is all set to be shot into space.

A post shared by Elon Musk (@elonmusk) on

Here’s hoping he makes it, though there’s always a chance it could end in a ball of flames just like some of his previous SpaceX missions.