When it comes to modern reusable rocketry, nothing comes close to the substantial lifting power of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket. SpaceX has launched the Falcon Heavy twice in the last two years: once to fly a Tesla Roadster electric supercar into space as a demonstration, and once to launch a commercial satellite into space. But now, the company is gearing up for a third launch.
Tonight, at approximately 11:30 P.M. Eastern time, SpaceX will attempt to launch yet another Falcon Heavy rocket from the launch pad at Cape Canaveral. It will be carrying at least 24 separate satellites, which includes payloads for the United States Air Force and other military agencies for the United States. Moreover, it will loft several science projects to space for NASA and acclaimed universities in an attempt to forward our understanding of the solar system.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, SpaceX intends to land its three rocket boosters shortly after the primary mission of delivering the payload into space takes place. The two secondary boosters will land on solid ground in Cape Canaveral, while the central booster will land on the drone ship 'Of Course I Still Love You' in the Atlantic Ocean, more than 1,240 kilometers off the coast of Florida – a new distance record.
According to Elon Musk, this will be SpaceX’s most challenging rocket launch ever, and it’s a particularly important one at that. This launch will allow the United States military, NASA, and other high-profile agencies to gauge the Falcon Heavy’s performance and reliability as a heavy-lifting rocket, and this could make or break SpaceX’s reputation as a commercial space launch platform.
Tonight’s launch will bring all kinds of new science and technology into space, and in this video, we learn more about those. As always, you can watch the launch when it happens via SpaceX's website; just tune in at the designated time above.