Science

Watch SpaceX launch its Falcon Heavy rocket live right here

Watch SpaceX launch its Falcon Heavy rocket live right here”

The launch is a late one, with the launch window opening at 11:30 p.m. EDT, but since this is SpaceX's biggest, most powerful rocket - and since it's only been launched two times before tonight - it'll obviously be worth staying up for.

Together, scientists hope that the experiments will provide valuable data which could help to improve future spacecraft technology.

While still only a prototype, the clock-which is accurate to a tenth of a trillionth of a second-helps spacecraft to navigate in much the same way that Global Positioning System is used by people to find directions on Earth.

Among the other payloads aboard STP-2 is a small satellite-designed by The Planetary Society-featuring a novel and non-toxic method of propulsion. It will ferry a couple dozen satellites into orbit, including Lightsail 2, a solar-sail test mission promoted by science star Bill Nye. In a tweet, SpaceX founder Elon Musk called the mission "our most hard launch ever". Among the various satellites and instruments being carried into orbit by SpaceX this evening is a collection of "spaceflight memorials" by a company called Celestis.

This mission, dubbed STP-2 for the Department of Defense's Space Test Program-2, is kind of like an UberPool for space companies.

"The STP-2 mission will be among the most challenging launches in SpaceX history", SpaceX said, citing four separate upper-stage engine burns, three separate deployment orbits and a total mission duration of over six hours. The investigation into what caused the "anomaly" is still ongoing, but the show must go on, and the company is set to launch its Falcon Heavy tonight for only the third time ever. Falcon Heavy is scheduled for its first nighttime launch on Monday, June 24.



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