Over the weekend, preparations for the rocket's second ever launch into space continued in a hangar near the Launch Complex 39A, and this time SpaceX made a decision to give the world a sneak peek into how the monstrous machine comes together.
"Static fire of Falcon Heavy complete-targeting April 9 launch of Arabsat-6A from Launch Complex 39A in Florida", tweeted SpaceX. Wednesday's launch marks the first time a Block 5 booster will be used for the big rocket. At liftoff, the Falcon Heavy Block 5 rocket's 27 Merlin 1D engines are expected to produce no less than 5.1 million pounds (~2300 mT/23,000 kN) of thrust at full throttle, but that figure could rise as high as 5.6 million pounds (2550 mT/25,500 kN) of thrust depending on how one interprets rather vague official numbers from CEO Elon Musk.
You can watch the Falcon Heavy launch live here and on Space.com's homepage, courtesy of SpaceX, beginning about 20 minutes before liftoff.
This time around SpaceX has a paying customer to please.
SpaceX has two operational rockets: the Falcon 9, which with 21 launches in 2018 dominates the United States market, and the Falcon Heavy, which as its name suggests is created to lift much heavier payloads into more distant orbits.
SpaceX's goal is to reuse as many of their rockets as possible to drive down launch costs.
SpaceX says it will land the two side boosters at Landing Zones 1 and 2 (LZ-1 and LZ-2) at Cape Canaveral Air Force, just like it did in last year's test. We'll see if they have better luck this time around. Eastern. A backup launch window will then open on Thursday, April 11 at 6:35 p.m.
"Falcon Heavy was designed from the outset to carry humans into space and restores the possibility of flying missions with crew to the Moon or Mars".
SpaceX wants to compete with its arch rival in the lucrative business of launching ultra-heavy satellites into space.
When the rocket flew previous year, its two side boosters made synchronized landings on side-by-side ground pads in Florida. That will be the first Falcon Heavy flight to re-use boosters. The center core missed its drone ship landing when two of three engines ran out of igniter fluid. "Built on Lockheed Martin's enhanced LM 2100 platform, Arabsat-6A includes several innovations that provide advanced Ka spot beam communications services and Ku and Ka-band coverages in addition to other frequency bands".
Though Falcon Heavy's inaugural launch ultimately went off without a hitch, SpaceX will now have to repeat that success with the added risk of carrying a multimillion dollar satellite.