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

Rodiano Bonacci
Aprile 10, 2019

"Static fire of Falcon Heavy complete-targeting April 9 launch of Arabsat-6A from Launch Complex 39A in Florida", tweeted SpaceX. Crane then lifted the massive rocket, weighing about 75 metric tons (165,000 lb) and mounted it on the Pad 39A T/E (transporter/erector device) which has the ability to lift and move the craft both vertically and horizontally. But Wednesday has a clear forecast with an 80% probability of a launch, so odds are good the mission will proceed. This appears to be the primary factor in the decision to move the opening of the launch window (which extends for an hour and 57 minutes) to Wednesday, April 10 at 6:35 p.m. EST (22:35 GMT). The payload for the mission is the Arabsat-6A communications satellite which was built by Lockheed Martin off of the A2100 satellite bus. The rocket is capable of delivering up to 59,000 pounds to a similar orbit, but that would mean SpaceX wouldn't be able to recover their boosters for reuse.

But more importantly, the launch will mark the second ever flight of the incredible Falcon Heavy launch system.

Tomorrow's launch follows a plan similar to Falcon Heavy's first test flight past year.

For spectators on the Space Coast, meanwhile, the boosters will again return to steal the show - shortly after liftoff, the two side boosters will separate and target automated landings at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

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

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. That will be the first Falcon Heavy flight to re-use boosters. The central "core" booster is topped with the Heavy's single-engine second stage. After the missed landing in 2018, Musk revealed that the center core didn't have enough ignition fluid to light all of its engines used for landing, and called the solution "obvious".

The Falcon Heavy's twin boosters made a simultaneous landing on pads at Cape Canaveral successfully during the test flight past year.

Over the weekend, preparations for the rocket's second ever launch into space continued in a hangar near the Launch Complex 39A, and this time SpaceX made a decision to give the world a sneak peek into how the monstrous machine comes together.

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