SpaceX launches big new rocket; lands 2 boosters

A Falcon 9 SpaceX heavy rocket stands ready for launch on pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Monday, Feb. 5, 2018. The Falcon Heavy scheduled to launch Tuesday afternoon, has three first-stage boosters, strapped together with 27 engines in all. (AP Photo/Terry Renna)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) – SpaceX has hit a rocket straight out of the park on the first test flight of its big new rocket.

The Falcon Heavy rocket blasted off Tuesday afternoon from the same Florida launch pad used by NASA nearly 50 years ago to send men to the moon. With liftoff, the Heavy became the most powerful rocket in use today. Its three boosters and 27 engines roared to life at Kennedy Space Center.

Not only did the rocket lift a red sports car into orbit — with a dummy “Starman” at the wheel — two of the three boosters came back and landed upright at Cape Canaveral. The 15-story boosters landed at the same time, side by side.

There was no immediate word on whether the center booster managed to touch down on a floating platform 300 miles offshore.

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