- SpaceX captured the moment a rocket on its launchpad was struck by lightning.
- The Falcon Heavy launch had been delayed due to adverse weather.
- The rocket’s lighting protection mast deflected the bolt and the rocket survived the blast unscathed.
SpaceX has shared a picture of the moment the launchpad for its Falcon Heavy rocket was struck by lightning.
The Falcon Heavy launch attempt at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Thursday was scrubbed because of the severe weather,
At one point, the rocket’s launch pad was struck by a bolt of lightning that pinged off the lightning protection mast on Launch Complex 39A in NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Merritt Island, Florida.
Later checks showed that the bolt had not damaged the rocket or its payload, showing the mast had done its job of deflecting most of the bolt’s power, SpaceX said on Twitter Friday.
—SpaceX (@SpaceX) April 28, 2023
You can watch the lightning hitting the launchpad here.
The rocket finally launched to space on Sunday on its sixth-ever launch, per SpaceX.
A SpaceX Falcon Heavy launching on a previous mission.
Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/Getty Images
Falcon Heavy is SpaceX’s most powerful rocket in operation. A payload-bearing second stage sits atop three reusable Falcon 9 boosters strapped together, giving it the same amount of thrust as eighteen 747 planes.
SpaceX, which is run by billionaire Elon Musk, attempted to launch an even more powerful rocket, its Starship mega-rocket, on April 20. The rocket blew up at the point of stage separation.