The Tuesday morning launch of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket created a double sonic boom.
“Please be advised, tomorrow morning’s launch will be followed by a double sonic boom. This will occur shortly after launch, as the boosters land on landing zone 1 and landing zone 2 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station,” Space Launch Delta 45, the official account of Patrick Space Force Base and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, tweeted in a Monday noise advisory.
A sonic boom occurs when an aircraft or aerospace vehicle flies through the air faster than the speed of sound, resulting in a thunderous boom.
NASA explained that the air reacts like a fluid to supersonic objects, with the vehicles pushing molecules aside with great force and forming a shock wave.
The crowd cheers at Playalinda Beach in the Canaveral National Seashore, just north of the Kennedy Space Center, during the launch of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket, on Feb. 6, 2018. ((Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images))
All aircraft generate two shock wave “cones” of pressurized or built-up air molecules at the nose and tail, which are usually of similar strength.
The time interval between the two as they reach the ground is primarily dependent on the size of the aircraft and its altitude.
Many sonic booms are heard as distinct “double” booms due to the two separate cones that are generated.
The rocket lifted off shortly after 9:40 a.m. ET from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
TITUSVILLE, FLORIDA – APRIL 11: The SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket is seen after it left launch pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on April 11, 2019, in Titusville, Florida. ((Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images))
According to the NASA space center, the rocket is part of U.S. Space Force mission USSF-44 and is “expected to deploy two spacecraft payloads directly into geosynchronous orbit, one of which is the TETRA 1 microsatellite.”
After launch, the core stage was expended.
CAPE CANAVERAL, FL – FEBRUARY 06: The SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket lifts off from launch pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center on February 6, 2018, in Cape Canaveral, Florida. ((Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images))
USSF-44 will be the fourth launch for the Falcon Heavy overall, which is the most powerful rocket currently flying.
The launch was previously scheduled for 2020.
SpaceX is targeting early December to launch its giant Starship rocket system into orbit for the first time.
“We track four major Starship flights. The first one here is coming up in December, part of early December,” Mark Kirasich, a senior NASA official overseeing development of the agency’s Artemis moon program, said during a live-streamed NASA Advisory Council meeting.
Reuters contributed to this report.
Julia Musto is a reporter for Fox News and Fox Business Digital.