Falcon Heavy rocket launch spacex elon musk

Falcon Heavy launching on her maiden flight on 6 February 2018. Photo: NSF/L2/Brady Kenniston

Live stream: SpaceX to attempt triple rocket landing with Falcon Heavy

Liftoff is scheduled for 00:35 on Thursday 11 April. The satellite will be deployed approximately 34 minutes after liftoff.

Falcon Heavy rocket launch spacex elon musk

Falcon Heavy launching on her maiden flight on 6 February 2018. Photo: NSF/L2/Brady Kenniston

SpaceX’s first commercial Falcon Heavy flight mission is scheduled for the 00:35 on April 11. If successful, it will be the world’s first triple rocket landing.

Falcon Heavy’s center core will attempt to land on the Of Course I Still Love You droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. Approximately 34 minutes after liftoff, the satellite will be deployed

The Falcon Heavy mega-rocket is the most powerful booster currently in production. NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida will launch the rocket into orbit.

Falcon Heavy rocket launch spacex elon musk
SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket in the hangar ahead of the planned April 10, 2019, launch of the Arabsat-6A satellite from Launch Complex 39A of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. / Image via Twitter: @SpaceX

After liftoff, Falcon Heavy’s side boosters and central core stage will return to Earth for a groundbreaking triple landing, if all goes according to plan.

The Falcon Heavy carried a Tesla Roadster into space

The launch will be Falcon Heavy’s second flight, following its successful debut flight 14 months ago. In February 2018, SpaceX launched a red Tesla Roadster into space.

Falcon Heavy rocket launch spacex elon musk
The two side boosters of SpaceX’s first Falcon Heavy rocket approach their landing pads at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida after a successful test launch on 6 February 2018. Image via Twitter: @SpaceX

However, only the two side boosters landed successfully. The centre core missed its drone ship landing due to two of the three engines running out of igniter fluid.

At the time, SpaceX’s Elon Musk confirmed that the core crashed and burned. He also said on Twitter that it would be “pretty obvious” to fix.

According to NASA, the 2018 launch of the Tesla Roadster “proved that the Falcon Heavy could deliver more valuable payloads to orbit.”

Falcon Heavy rocket: Stats for nerds

The mega-rocket has a dry mass of 3 520 kilograms and weighs approximately 6 000 kilograms when fully fueled. Lockheed Martin constructed the spacecraft, utilising the LM2100 satellite bus.

The rocket is capable of delivering a 63 800 kilogram payload to low Earth orbit. It can also deliver a 26 700 kilogram payload to geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO).

A GTO is an elliptical orbit used to transfer between two circular orbits of different radii in the same plane.

Watch: Arabsat-6A satellite mission live stream

The primary launch window opens at 00:35 South African Standard Time (SAST) on Thursday 11 April and closes at 02:32 SAST.

To get breaking news first, download thesouthafrican.com’s app for iOS and Android.