Falcon Heavy Launch Replays and Status

First off, the best news: the upper stage appears to have performed its final burn on schedule!  [UPDATE: final orbit is confirmed, with an aphelion extending nearly to the asteroid belt!]  SpaceX is doubtless waiting for confirmation of final orbit before announcement; this is a little trickier when the object is heading into heliocentric orbit and is therefore more challenging to track.  But spotters on the ground witnessed engine plumes consistent with the timing and expected ground track of the Falcon upper stage.  This view was from Marana, AZ:

Less good news: while the two side cores made perfect landings back at the Cape, the central core missed the droneship.  It’s unclear why at this point, but that’s definitely something that SpaceX will want to investigate.  Still, recovery is gravy at this point in the program, so it’s not bad at all, and it definitely got *close* to the barge “Of Course I Still Love You”.

And then we’ll wrap up with some coolness!  First, replay of the launch broadcast (skip ahead 22 minutes for the actual liftoff; skip to 25 minutes for a bit of David Bowie as we see fairing separation, revealing the mannequin “Starman” in the Tesla):

Now, the launch and landing as viewed by folks on the rooftop of the Cocoa Beach Hilton:

And I don’t know how long this next link will be good for, but Space Videos is streaming a reply of the Starman feed, showing the Tesla and its anthropomorphic occupant prior to that final burn:

Oh, and here’s a graphic showing the final orbit — nearly to the orbit of Ceres!  The “Mars-crossing” target was well and truly achieved, and then some.


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