EDITOR’S NOTE: Updated after SpaceX scrubbed Wednesday’s launch attempt.
SpaceX’s second Falcon Heavy rocket is set for liftoff Thursday from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and the heavy-lift launcher will head on an easterly course over the Atlantic Ocean atop more than 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 during a launch window Thursday that opens at 6:35 p.m. EDT (2235 GMT) and closes at 8:31 p.m. EDT (0031 GMT).
The payload mounted atop the Falcon Heavy rocket is Arabsat 6A, a communications satellite built by Lockheed Martin for Arabsat, an operator based in Saudi Arabia.
The graphic above illustrates the paths of the Falcon Heavy’s two side boosters, center core stage, and second stage during the rocket’s launch and landing operations. Four different components of the Falcon Heavy will follow trajectories toward different landing zones, or toward Earth orbit.
The timeline below outlines the launch sequence for the Falcon Heavy’s second mission — and first commercial flight.
For the second time in seven weeks, SpaceX, Telesat and SSL teamed up for a commercial satellite launch from Cape Canaveral early Monday, this time successfully deploying into orbit a high-power telecom payload developed in a joint venture with a Hong Kong-based company.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket booster descended under engine power to a floating landing platform in the Atlantic Ocean on Friday, notching the first-ever rocket landing at sea minutes after liftoff from Cape Canaveral with a supply ship hauling 3.5 tons of cargo to the International Space Station.
Four days out from arriving at the solar system’s biggest planet, NASA’s Juno spacecraft received a final uplink of commands Thursday governing the robotic probe’s high-velocity braking maneuver Monday to steer into orbit around Jupiter.