The giant of SpaceX falcon heavy The rocket’s mission is to launch three satellites directly into high Earth orbit, meaning the company can’t salvage any of the three boosters. You can follow the launch live here.
The Falcon Heavy rocket is about to take off on Friday, April 28th from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, with the 57-minute launch window opening at 7:29 p.m. ET. You can watch the launch live on SpaceX website or through his Live feed, available below, starting 15 minutes before launch. The 45th Space Force Weather Squadron says the chance of favorable conditions for the evening launch is about 30%, which isn’t great.
SpaceX had hoped to launch the rocket yesterday, but a storm blew through, producing hail, tornadoes, and lightning. Lightning even struck the tower of Complex 39A, prompting SpaceX’s ground crews to conduct additional checks on the rocket, its payloads and ground equipment, according to one company tweet.
The Falcon Heavy rocket is 70 meters tall and consists of three reusable Falcon 9 first stages strapped together. It has two reusable side boosters, a reusable center core, a consumable second stage, and a pair of reusable fairing halves. The heavy-duty vehicle is scheduled to complete its sixth mission after its debut in 2018.
Falcon Heavy, while more powerful than SpaceX’s Falcon 9 workhorse, could soon be overshadowed by the Starship rocket made its first test flight on April 20th but then had to be destroyed it occurred a fatal fall.
The rocket will carry three satellites, including the primary payload, the 14,000-pound (6,400-kilogram) ViaSat-3 Americas broadband satellite that will be placed in geostationary orbit. The other two satellites, Astranis’ first MicroGEO satellite and Gravity Space’s GS-1 satellite, are also heading for geostationary orbit.
Since the primary payload will be placed directly in its distant orbit, the Falcon Heavy boosters will have to be discarded – they will fall into the Atlantic Ocean. Usually the boosters do vertical landings, but this job, with that extra boost into geostationary orbit, will force them to eject their fuel, making landing impossible. This will be the first time SpaceX has intentionally disposed of all three Falcon Heavy boosters. after to SpaceflightNow.
Geostationary orbit, GEO for short, is more than 20,000 miles (nearly 36,000 kilometers) above the Earth, which is about a tenth the distance to the moon. Many communications and weather satellites operate in GEO because it allows them to remain in a fixed position relative to the Earth’s surface.
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