SpaceX is poised to launch another Falcon 9 rocket on Tuesday, but unlike typical launches, this one is slightly special. A Tweet shared by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk Monday afternoon reveals how it will mark the commercial space company’s 50th Falcon 9 flight.
The rocket currently stands tall at Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, and the United States Air Force says that there’s a 90% chance of favorable rocket launch weather between 12:33 A.M. and 2:33 A.M. Eastern time.
Image Credit: SpaceX via Twitter
Given that it’s SpaceX’s 50th Falcon 9 launch, you can bet Musk wanted to make it a special one; and that it will be. The fairing at the top of the rocket contains a gigantic telecommunications satellite called the Hispasat 30W-6.
According to Musk, this satellite weighs more than 60 metric tons and sports a size comparable to an average city bus. In other words, it will become the largest geostationary satellite ever launched with a Falcon 9 rocket.
While it may not sound as impressive as the feat demonstrated by SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket last month, it should still make for a great show for anyone who might be into rocket science.
Unfortunately, weather conditions won’t be optimal for landing and recovering the spent first stage after the Falcon 9 completes its primary mission, so SpaceX won’t attempt to do so. That means SpaceX won’t be refurbishing this particular rocket for future use.
As usual, SpaceX will live-stream the event from its website. If you aren’t sleeping and would like to tune in during the launch window, then we've embedded the launch video below: