As SpaceX prepares for a nighttime launch of its Falcon Heavy Rocket, CEO Elon Musk emphasizes how it's the most difficult one in the company's history.
SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket is set to launch on Monday night at 11:30 pm Eastern Time (8:30 pm PT) from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, carrying two dozen satellites aboard. The event will be a major milestone for science and spaceflight, in addition to being – as described by CEO Elon Musk – the company’s “most difficult launch ever.”
The flight, commissioned by the US Air Force. If it’s successful, it’ll win future contracts to bring military satellites into space. That means bringing its load of scientific equipment, which includes an atomic clock, NASA satellites, and a solar sail funded by the nonprofit organization The Planetary Society, needs to go off without any major problems.
SpaceX is competing with rivals such as United Launch Alliance, Northrop Grumman Corp., and Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin for these lucrative contracts. Monday’s launch, known as Space Test Program-2, will test the Falcon Heavy’s capabilities by deploying satellites to three different orbits. The rocket has launched twice before, but both Musk and SpaceX emphasize the complicated maneuvering involved in the mission.
The launch also marks the first the Air force is using SpaceX rockets to launch payloads into orbits. The reusable Falcon Heavy side boosters are expected to land at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
SpaceX will livestream the launch, which you can watch below.