Falcon Heavy ready for its second attempt at a second flight

The SpaceX Falcon Heavy launches in Florida on April 11 2019

It's been made even more powerful since last year's demo flight through upgrades that SpaceX refers to as Block 5, which were applied to the company's smaller Falcon 9 rocket starting in May.

Each of the three cores is new, and SpaceX is counting on re-using the two side boosters for another Falcon Heavy mission as early as June-the launch of the US Air Force's Space Test Program-2 mission carrying several military and scientific research satellites.

The middle booster, after pushing the payload into space, returned almost 10 minutes later for a successful landing on SpaceX's seafaring drone ship waiting 645 kilometres off the Florida coast. The second-ever launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket was supposed to happen on Sunday, and then again on Tuesday, and yet again on Wednesday. The auto, which was carrying a space-suited mannequin nicknamed Starman, was vaulted into outer space and is expected to orbit the sun for the foreseeable future.

The Falcon Heavy central core booster lands on a drone ship stationed hundreds of miles out in the Atlantic Ocean. Starman is still out there, by the way, in an elliptical orbit around the Sun.

The Roadster could still look much the same as it did for the February 6, 2018, launch, just not as shiny with perhaps some chips and flakes from the extreme temperature swings, according to Giorgini.

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Although the Falcon Heavy has proven itself flight-worthy, this is still just the second launch of a rocket with a staggering 27 engines, so there is definitely some uncertainty.

Arabsat-6A was due for its deployment about a half-hour after launch.

Bridenstine said everything is on the space table as NASA strives to meet the White House's goal of landing astronauts back on the moon by 2024. 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 rocket is expected to be used primarily for U.S. military missions, and to launch spy satellites and hefty commercial telecom satellites. The Falcon Heavy is essentially three of those single rockets strapped together. The company is intent on driving down launch costs by recycling rocket parts.



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