SpaceX postpones first commercial launch due to strong wind

11 April, 2019, 09:42 | Author: Dwayne Harmon
  • SpaceX readies its first Block 5 Falcon Heavy for flight inside the horizontal integration hangar just outside Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39A

Residents and visitors planning to view the liftoff should be prepared for heavy traffic around popular viewing locations, including Titusville riverfront parks, Port Canaveral and Kennedy's Space Center Visitor Complex.

Media outlets in Central Florida report sonic booms could potentially be heard in Brevard, Orange, Seminole and Volusia counties.

Generating more than five million pounds of thrust at liftoff, the Falcon Heavy is the most powerful operational rocket in the world. Falcon Heavy's closest competitor, the United Launch Alliance's Delta IV Heavy rocket, costs $350 million, according to CEO Tony Bruno.

SpaceX just delayed the launch debut of Falcon Heavy Block 5 by about an hour and a half to dodge bad high-altitude wind conditions that would be a risk to the vehicle during launch and to both side boosters during their subsequent landing attempts.

This will be the first commercial mission for the Falcon Heavy.

This will be the first operation mission of the rocket.

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Wednesday's launch will be the second for Falcon Heavy following its successful maiden launch on February 6, 2018, when its payload was the personal Tesla Roadster of Elon Musk.

In its first launch, in February 2018, a dummy dubbed Starman was placed behind the wheel of Musk's roadster, which is now orbiting the Sun somewhere between Earth and Mars. Should the launch be scrubbed, SpaceX will try again tomorrow at the same time.

You can also watch the monstrous rocket take off from Launch Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Centre via the embedded Space & Universe stream below.

Pricing for space transport on Falcon Heavy are in part predicated on successfully landing reusable components. It has three rocket boosters, which are strapped together during launch and are created to then break apart and make pinpoint landings back on Earth. The main booster, however, missed landing on one of SpaceX's seaborne landing platforms and instead splashed into the ocean. SpaceX is expected to attempt to land all three this week.

The Arabsat 6A that will depart Earth this week, on the other hand, will stick around in orbit, providing Ku-band and Ka-band communications coverage for the Middle East, North and South Africa. The rocket was purchased to launch the Arabsat 6A communications station for the Riyadh, Saudi Arabia-based Arabsat consortium. The company hopes to get there on the back of the Falcon Heavy.

Musk's casual mentions of a potential explosion spooked Arabsat executives, according to Bloomberg. In three key areas-national defense, science, and human exploration-the Falcon Heavy rocket has to some extent changed the discussion.

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