Science

SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket targeting new launch date from Kennedy Space Center

SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket targeting new launch date from Kennedy Space Center”

SpaceX now says that Falcon Heavy will likely launch tomorrow, Wednesday, April 10th.

The launch window will again be 6:36 to 8:35 p.m. EDT, as it was for previous launch attempts that had been tentatively set for Sunday and then Tuesday. The maiden Falcon Heavy flight was essentially a test launch, with even Elon Musk saying that he wasn't sure how things were going to go.

The payload is the Arabsat 6A communications satellite built by U.S. contractor Lockheed Martin for the Saudi company Arabsat.

The delay is good news on the weather front: The forecast on Tuesday was far from favorable, but Wednesday evening's conditions look much better for liftoff.

The launch is expected to bring crowds of spectators to the Titusville and Cocoa Beach areas to see what is now the world's tallest and most powerful rocket. The launch will be SpaceX's fourth, and the first of two such Falcon Heavy launches in 2019.

As is the case with many of SpaceX's launches, the flighty skyward is only half the fun.

Tomorrow's SpaceX launch will carry a 6,000kg Saudi Arabian payload into orbit around Earth. That will be the first Falcon Heavy flight to re-use boosters.

You can also watch the monstrous rocket take off from Launch Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Centre via the embedded Space & Universe stream below. The second stage, the one that actually gets the cargo into orbit, comprises a Falcon 9-sourced Merlin engine.

Upon descent, the three Falcon boosters detach and land separately back on Earth for future missions.

The only time the Falcon Heavy flew until this week was in February 2018, when alongside a variety of other cargo the rocket carried a Tesla Roadster to space.

The Falcon Heavy is meant to carry super-big satellites, as well as cargo for points far beyond, like Mars.

Also visible in the photo, SpaceX pointed out in another tweet, is the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket that launched the company's Crew Dragon capsule on its first-ever spaceflight, an uncrewed test voyage to the International Space Station.

"Falcon Heavy's 27 Merlin engines generate more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff, making it the world's most powerful operational rocket by a factor of two", said SpaceX on Twitter, referring to the engines' thrust power.



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