Falcon Heavy launch delayed again, now targeted for Thursday evening

Katie Ramirez
April 14, 2019

Eastern from Space Launch Complex 39A in Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, with the 6,460-kilogram Arabsat-6A.

Note that also yesterday, SpaceX postponed the launch of the carrier rocket Falcon Heavy. Nine minutes after lift-off the main central rocket returned and landed perfectly onto its floating barge (named "Of Course I Still Love You").

In Falcon Heavy's first launch, in February 2018, a dummy dubbed Starman was placed behind the wheel of Musk's roadster, which is now orbiting the Sun somewhere between Earth and Mars.

"What an awesome day", a SpaceX flight commentator exclaimed. And while previous versions of the Falcon 9 were meant to only fly two or three times, the Block 5 should be capable of launching as many as 10 times with no refurbishment between flights.

The 23-story-tall Heavy, which previously launched Musk's cherry red Tesla roadster to space in a 2018 debut test flight, blasted off from Florida's Kennedy Space Centre carrying its first customer payload.

Prime viewing spots were packed with tourists and locals eager to catch not just the launch but the rare and dramatic return of the twin boosters, accompanied by sonic booms.

An attempt Wednesday was scrubbed because of upper atmosphere winds that could have damaged the rocket.

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The company, which is owned by billionaire Elon Musk, launched its Falcon Heavy rocket from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. But everything went exceedingly well and the satellite ended up in the proper orbit.

As with all SpaceX launches, this will be a livestreamed event.

NASA offered swift congratulations, tweeting: "From our iconic launch pads at @NASAKennedy, we will continue to support the growing commercial space economy".

Those on the ground likely viewed the mission by the sound it generated.

And the launch came just a year and two months after the Falcon Heavy took off on its maiden voyage on February 6, 2018. SpaceX already has another Falcon Heavy launch planned for June, a US Air Force mission called STP-2 that consists of dozens of small satellites.

SpaceX will now get to work on refurbishing the three boosters in preparation for another flight in June or July.

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