SpaceX Falcon Heavy On Track For Wednesday Launch


SpaceX is set to launch its Falcon Heavy later today, in what will be the first commercial flight for the world's most powerful rocket. 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.

According to SpaceFlight Now, Arabsat 6A will provide Ku-band and Ka-band communications coverage over the Middle East and North Africa regions, as well as a footprint in South Africa.

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 chose to give the world a sneak peek into how the monstrous machine comes together. You can also watch the launch directly from SpaceX's webcast page.

Falcon Heavy's three Falcon 9 components are clearly on display in the hangar before its Wednesday launch.

The launch is scheduled to happen just two weeks before the highly anticipated launch of the Falcon 9 rocket that will carry experiments, supplies and other materials to the International Space Station for astronauts. NASA and SpaceX posted to Twitter, speculation that these conditions could push the launch to the very end of the launch window, at 8:32 p.m. ET.

A year after launching a Tesla roadster into deep space, a second SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket was hauled to the pad and erected for blastoff Wednesday, but high winds aloft forced the California rocket builder to delay launch of an Arabsat communications satellite until Thursday evening. You can watch a live stream of the watch in the video above.

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In fact, the two side boosters that will fly tomorrow are already earmarked for Falcon Heavy's next flight, now slated for June. The boosters and the core go up with Falcon Heavy but float back down to Earth at specific points during the launch.

Upon descent, the three Falcon boosters detach and land separately back on Earth for future missions. For Elon Musk's space transportation company, this is a chance to prove that its most important rocket is capable of helping it fulfill its most important missions. The main booster, however, missed landing on one of SpaceX's seaborne landing platforms and instead splashed into the ocean. That's the US Air Force's STP-2 payload, consisting of more than two dozen satellites.

Any glitch in the Falcon Heavy's track record could cause a wrinkle in SpaceX's Mars plans.

According to Elon Musk, this is the first flight for Falcon Heavy Block 5.

Regardless, prior to December 2018, B1032 was the first failed SpaceX landing after dozens of successful attempts.