The SpaceX Falcon Heavy booster rocket missed its landing on the company's drone ship in the Atlantic last night, causing an explosion. News 13 tweeted a video of the explosion early Tuesday morning:
Explosions aside, the company described the launch as a success after the world's most powerful operational rocket lifted off the third time at 2:30 a.m. from Launch Complex 39A at the John F. Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, which was originally built for the Apollo program.
One of @SpaceX #FalconHeavy booster rockets exploded hundreds of miles off the coast of Cape Canaveral after it missed a landing on a drone ship, sending flames into the air, reports @JerryHume https://t.co/3htaYrlY04 pic.twitter.com/mx8XlQpDPv— Spectrum News 13 (@MyNews13) June 25, 2019
As part of the mission, the Falcon Heavy carried 24 satellites from the Department of Defense, NASA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, among other institutions.
The idea behind the mission was to deploy the satellites at three separate orbits – and it was in part a way for the company to prove to the U.S. Air Force that it's capable of carrying out national security missions in the future, if necessary, the Verge reports.
The rocket's reusable side booster successfully landed back on earth following liftoff. However, as you might have noticed in the video included above, the rocket's center booster fell and missed its landing aboard the drone ship "Of Course I Still Love You," bursting into flames.
SpaceX has yet to recover a center core from its Falcon Heavy launches. Prior to the launch, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk called last night's mission the "most difficult launch ever."