Monday night will be the night that the next SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket launch goes off, assuming the weather cooperates. The launch is set to happen at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and the launch is pushing a bunch of satellites into orbit if all goes well.
The launch will see SpaceX putting 24 government satellites into orbit and is the third launch for the Falcon Heavy rocket. SpaceX says that the launch will be its most challenging ever as it must release satellites into three different orbits. Monday’s launch will also mark the first time that Falcon Heavy has launched with previously flown side boosters.
The side boosters the launch will use previously flew on the mission that saw Arabsat 6A put into orbit in April. The boosters were refueled and refitted for the upcoming launch. Among the satellites that the mission will put into orbit are the new atomic space clock we talked about not long ago and a less toxic and more efficient spacecraft fuel test bed.
The Falcon Heavy launch is happening at 11:30 pm EDT and has a four-hour launch window in case of weather delays. Forecasts have suggested a significant risk of storms for the latter part of Monday increasing the risk that the launch will be postponed.
Big crowds are expected to watch the launch, and with liftoff at night, it should be a sight to see. The side boosters should be visible as they try and return to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and land to be used on future missions. The launch marks the start of a very busy summer schedule for SpaceX and other NASA launch partners.