SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket, world’s most powerful rocket, launches after three-year hiatus

SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy — a towering, three-pronged vehicle that is the most powerful operational rocket in the world — returned to the skies on Tuesday for the first time since mid-2019.

The rocket launched at 9:41 a.m. ET from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, hauling satellites to space for the US military in a secretive mission dubbed USSF-44.

The Falcon Heavy debuted in 2018 to much fanfare as SpaceX CEO Elon Musk elected to launch his personal Tesla Roadster as a test payload on the launch. The car is still in space, taking an oblong path around the sun that swings out as far as Mars’ orbital path.