SpaceX's Most Powerful Rocket Is Ready for Its First Commercial Launch

The Falcon Heavy is actually three SpaceX rocket boosters grouped together, delivering liftoff thrust that the company says is roughly equivalent to 18 full-powered 747 jetliners

What to Know

  • Wednesday's launch is scheduled for 3:35 p.m. California time
  • It is the first commercial launch of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket
  • SpaceX will attempt to recover all three of the rockets in the Falcon Heavy array

Southern California-based SpaceX scrubbed a scheduled launch of its Falcon Heavy rocket Wednesday because of unfavorable weather conditions at the launch site on the coast of Florida.

The company said it plans to try again Thursday.

"Standing down from today's Falcon Heavy launch attempt; next opportunity is tomorrow, April 11," SpaceX tweeted.

The Falcon Heavy, an array of three rockets, will carry a communications satellite into orbit from Cape Canaveral in Florida. The launch will be the second flight for Falcon Heavy and its first commercial mission.

The rocket is scheduled to carry a 13,200-pound Arabsat-6A satellite into orbit, providing communications services to areas of Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

It's the same type of rocket that carried "Starman," the mannequin in a space suit behind the wheel of a Tesla roadster, into space in a February 2018 test mission. The 230-feet-tall, 27-engine Falcon Heavy is essentially triple the size of SpaceX's traditional Falcon 9 rockets.

SpaceX says its liftoff thrust is roughly equivalent to 18 full-powered 747 jetliners.

The Falcon Heavy includes a behemoth center rocket booster, coupled with two side rocket boosters. The most visually spectacular part of last year's Falcon Heavy launch occurred when SpaceX successfully landed the two Falcon 9 side rockets simultaneously back on land at Cape Canaveral following the launch.

The company attempted, but failed, to recover the center booster rocket on a barge floating in the Atlantic Ocean.

The company will again attempt to recover all three of the rockets in the array on this week's launch — two on land and one at sea.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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