Science

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy Completes Engine Test Fire, Readies for First Commercial Launch

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy Completes Engine Test Fire, Readies for First Commercial Launch”

However, the liftoff date has now been pushed back to April 9 at 6:36 p.m. EDT (22:36 GMT).

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket launch has been "targeted" for Tuesday from Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad 39A.

The highly anticipated test - originally estimated to take place on April 1 - appeared to go off without a hitch.

The upcoming mission, dubbed Arabsat 6A, will launch a large communications satellite for Saudi Arabian corporation Arabsat.

Falcon Heavy is essentially made of up three Falcon 9 rockets strapped together, though the center core is substantially strengthened so it can support the two side boosters, which are regular Falcon 9 rockets. The rocket was going to carry an Arabsat 6A communications satellite into the orbit, to expand the communication coverage and improve television, internet and telephone services in Africa and the Middle East. The reusable rocket first launched on February 6, 2018, ferrying Elon Musk's cherry-red Tesla Roadster - "driven" by a spacesuit-wearing dummy named Starman - into orbit.

After first supporter partition from the core, SpaceX will endeavor to arrive two Falcon Heavy booster rockets on land at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Landing Zones 1 and 2. SpaceX has even snagged a military mission for the rocket - a $130 million deal to launch an Air Force Space Command satellite.

The Falcon Heavy, on the other hand, uses three cores - each equipped with 9 engines for a total of 27 Merlin engines.

The Block 5 booster is the latest-generation Falcon 9, meant to be reused several times.

SpaceX Falcon Heavy will likely lift off on Sunday between 6:36 p.m. and 8:35 p.m. In addition to the added thrust, the Block 5 Falcon 9 features myriad upgrades created to facilitate reusability.

This will be the second flight of the vehicle, which is powered by three boosters, all of which SpaceX will attempt to recover - two on land and one at sea on the company's "Of Course I Still Love You" drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.

The SpaceX's Falcon 9 has received an upgrade - the Block 5 which will make the rocket reusable and reliable for 10 or more flights.

The true test will happen next week, if Falcon Heavy cannot only launch but also land its three boosters.



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