SpaceX’s first Falcon Heavy rocket is set for liftoff Tuesday from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and the heavy-lift launcher will head on an easterly course over the Atlantic Ocean atop nearly 5 million pounds of thrust.
The 229-foot-tall (70-meter) rocket is poised for launch from pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida between 1:30 p.m. EST (1830 GMT) at 4 p.m. EST (2100 gMT) Tuesday during a 150-minute launch window.
SpaceX will attempt to place a test payload — Elon Musk’s road-worn Tesla sports car — on an Earth escape trajectory into heliocentric orbit around the sun.
Elon Musk tweeted a graphic Tuesday illustrating the various launch and descent maneuvers planned on today’s Falcon Heavy demo flight, including recovery attempts for the three first stage boosters and payload fairing.
The timeline below outlines the launch sequence for the Falcon Heavy’s inaugural flight. A final Earth departure maneuver by the Falcon Heavy’s upper stage is planned around six hours after liftoff to send the Tesla Roadster on a path into the solar system.
Two Chinese Beidou navigation satellites successfully launched Monday on top of a Long March 3B rocket, completing the core of China’s independent positioning and timing network ahead of the start of global service next year.