SpaceX's Falcon Heavy will now fly on Wednesday, hopefully

Katie Ramirez
April 10, 2019

SpaceX will try to land the giant rocket's two side boosters on pads at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Landing Zone 1 and 2, while the core booster will target the company's "Of Course I Still Love You" drone ship off the Atlantic coast.

SpaceX announced the delay on Twitter, saying: "Now targeting Falcon Heavy launch of Arabsat-6A on Wednesday, April 10 - weather forecast improves to 80 percent favorable".

For SpaceX, the introduction of the large and reusable Falcon Heavy into its launch business gives the company the ability to bid on heavier payloads than it can with the smaller Falcon 9 rocket, opening up the market for big commercial satellites launches and national security missions.

The Falcon Heavy megarocket, the most powerful booster now in use, is set to launch the Arabsat-6A communications satelliteinto orbit from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida today at 6:35 p.m. EDT (2235 GMT).

This second launch should be just as dramatic as last year's. SpaceX aims to pull a more seamless landing when it launches the Arabsat-6A, a 13,200-pound satellite for Arabsat, a Saudi Arabia-based satellite communications company, today. It's been over a year since SpaceX sent Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster to space and though Falcon Heavy's second launch has been delayed slightly, all systems are go for launch number two.

The Block 5 booster is the latest-generation Falcon 9, meant to be reused numerous times with minimal refurbishment.

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The Falcon Heavy launch has already been postponed once, as it was originally supposed to take off on Sunday. It has three rocket boosters, which are strapped together during launch and are created to then break apart and make pinpoint landings back on Earth.

The reinforced center booster will again attempt an ocean landing on the drone ship, where there is more margin for error.

SpaceX will provide a webcast of the launch, landing attempts, and satellite separation from the upper stage, beginning 20 minutes before the anticipated liftoff on Wednesday.

The Falcon Heavy, which features three Falcon 9 first-stage boosters joined together, had its debut launch in February 2018.

Falcon Heavy's debut flight past year attracted massive attention, in part because CEO Elon Musk made a decision to launch his own luxury Tesla Roadsteras the test payload.

"Falcon Heavy was designed from the outset to carry humans into space and restores the possibility of flying missions with crew to the Moon or Mars".

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