Watch SpaceX launch a Falcon Heavy for the first time in three years • TechCrunch
Thousands will gather on Florida’s Space Coast tomorrow to watch SpaceX launch the massive Falcon Heavy rocket for the first time since 2019.
The launch is scheduled for no earlier than 9:44 AM EST on November 1. For the mission, SpaceX will attempt to inject two US Space Force spacecraft directly into geostationary orbit. The payload includes TETRA-1, a microsatellite developed by Boeing subsidiary Millennium Space Systems, which the company describes as a spacecraft made for “several prototype missions” in a circular GEO. The other spacecraft is classified.
While the Space Force originally planned to launch the USSF-44 mission in late 2020, it was repeatedly delayed due to payload readiness issues.
Falcon Heavy is the most powerful rocket currently in use and has only flown three times, the last of which was in June 2019. The first launch, which wore a Tesla Roadster (and dummy driver) in orbit, is a particularly noteworthy chapter in SpaceX’s history.
The rocket consists of a trio of Falcon 9 boosters, the same ones that are now launched at least once a week. The whopping 27 Merlin engines together produce approximately 5 million pounds of thrust. Attached to the central booster is a Falcon 9 second stage and payload fairing.
This will be the first launch for all three boosters, as well as the upper stage and cockpit. SpaceX shared a photo of the three first stages in the Kennedy Space Center hangar last week.
The central booster will be consumed, while the two side boosters will land at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
Check back on this post tomorrow morning for a livestream of the launch, courtesy of SpaceX.
Update: The story has been updated to reflect that the launch is on November 1st NET.
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