The launch of the most powerful SpaceX rocket on the weekend could be seen not only near the launch pad, but also from orbit. SpaceX Falcon Heavy launched on January 15 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, as part of a mission called USSF-67 to launch several satellites into orbit for the US Space Forces. Ground photographers made excellent photos of the launch. At the same time, photos were received from the International Space Station (ISS), which on Sunday was in the right place at the right time.
“An external high-definition camera on the ISS recorded the launch plume of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket after it ascended into Earth orbit on January 15, 2023. Currently, the space outpost was flying over the Atlantic Ocean at an altitude of 422 km,” NASA explained.
This view from the station shows the launch plume of the @SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket after its liftoff on Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023, from @NASAKennedy in Florida. pic.twitter.com/TRWNggsGas
— International Space Station (@Space_Station) January 19, 2023
The fifth successful Falcon Heavy mission
USSF-67 was the fifth ever successful Falcon Heavy mission. The flight lifted a military communications satellite called Continuous Broadcast Augmenting SATCOM 2 and five smaller spacecraft for the Space Force.
Heavy, which created more than 2.2 thousand tons of thrust at launch, until recently was the most powerful operational rocket in the world. But NASA’s heavy-duty rocket SLS (4 thousand tons of thrust) took away this title from Falcon Heavy when it first ascended into space on November 16, 2022, starting the Artemis I mission.
In 2022, SpaceX launched 61 orbital missions. 2023 may be an even bigger year for the company. The founder and CEO of SpaceX, Elon Musk, said that the company aims to make 100 flights in 2023.
Earlier we reported on how SpaceX Falcon 9 did not return to Earth after the 11th launch.
Follow us on Twitter to get the most interesting space news in time