SpaceX will launch a Falcon Heavy rocket today for the first time in more than three years.
Elon Musk‘s company intends to send two US Space Force spacecraft into orbit two years after the mission was originally planned.
The repeated delays have been attributed to problems with the payload, which in this case includes a microsatellite called TETRA-1, which was built for “various prototype missions.”
The Falcon Heavy rocket did not launch since June 2019when it lifted off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, carrying two dozen satellites, a distant space atomic clock, astronaut Bill Pogue’s ashes and more.
At that time it was considered SpaceXthe most difficult launch.
Since then, the firm has carried out dozens of launches using its other rockets, including taking its first all-civilian crew into space on a three-day journey.
Mr Musk has also been busy – this is SpaceX’s first major launch since then he bought Twitter.
Tuesday’s launch – which is due to take place at 9:40am local time (1:40pm UK) – will be the first of the Falcon 9’s three boosters, which are needed to provide the necessary thrust for the Falcon Heavy.
According to SpaceX, the Falcon Heavy is the most powerful operational rocket in the world.
Falcon 9s launch on a regular basis by themselves, such as when they host SpaceX’s Starlink satellites into orbit.
November should be a busy month for significant space missions, with NASA’s long-delayed Artemis-1 and first missile launch from UK territory also because of.
And next month, SpaceX hopes to launch its giant Starship rocket system into orbit for the first time.
This will be a key demonstration flight as it aims to get NASA astronauts to the moon in the next few years.
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