SpaceX’s big day is almost here. On Tuesday, the firm will launch its Falcon Heavy rocket — billed as the “world’s most powerful rocket” — for the first time ever. You won’t want to miss it.
The Falcon Heavy builds on the lessons learned from the Falcon 9, the reusable rocket used to send satellites into space. The first stage of the Heavy is comprised of three Falcon 9 nine-engine cores, with 27 Merlin engines offering more than 5 million pounds of thrust at the point of liftoff.
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Falcon Heavy was designed from the start to carry humans into space. It has the ability to lift 141,000 pounds into space, more than a loaded Boeing 737, meaning it can deliver more than double the payload of the Delta IV Heavy at a third of the price. Only the Saturn V moon rocket has ever delivered a larger payload into orbit.
The launch is set to take place from launchpad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. After launch, all three first stages are set to return to Earth: two at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and a third on the Of Course I Still Love You drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean that has played host to so many prior landings.
The rocket is a major step toward SpaceX’s plan to ferry people to Mars using an even larger rocket, the BFR. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has outlined plans to use the forthcoming rocket to send cargo to Mars in the year 2022, with the view of delivering humans on the journey just two years later.
When Will It Start?
Update: The Falcon Heavy launch was delayed on Tuesday but launched successfully. Below’s the full mission video. Enjoy!
The Falcon Heavy launch window is scheduled to start at these times:
- 12:45 p.m. Pacific time
- 3:45 p.m. Eastern time
- 8:45 p.m. Greenwich Mean time
- 6:45 a.m. Australian Eastern time (Wednesday)
How to Watch
Follow along with all the action using the livestream embed below:
Failing that, use the direct link here.
Editor’s Note: As of 3:02 p.m. Eastern, 2/6/2018, this story has been updated to reflect the most current information about the Falcon Heavy launch time.