SpaceX delays Falcon Heavy’s historic first commercial launch

It seems we’re only getting one incredible space story today.

SpaceX’s most powerful rocket — the Falcon Heavy — was ready to send Saudi Arabia’s Arabsat-6A telecommunications satellite into orbit Wednesday, but high atmospheric winds have forced SpaceX to postpone the launch by 24 hours.

On Wednesday Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO suggested that a delay was likely due to “upper atmospheric wind shear” and SpaceX confirmed there would be no launch on the day.

The launch was scheduled for no earlier than 5:32 p.m. PT after the atmospheric conditions pushed the historic flight all the way to the end of its launch window. SpaceX will now use its backup window for launch, which is scheduled to open at 3:32 p.m. PT on April 11 and will remain open until 5:32 p.m. PT.

a plane flying in the sky: This dramatic rendering shows Starship, which was known as BFR (Big Falcon Rocket) at the time this image was released in September 2018, blasting away from a cloudy Earth. SpaceX says the ship and rocket are designed to be fully reusable and will be able to service Earth orbit as well as the moon and Mars.

© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. This dramatic rendering shows Starship, which was known as BFR (Big Falcon Rocket) at the time this image was released in September 2018, blasting away from a cloudy Earth. SpaceX says the ship and rocket are designed to be fully reusable and will be able to service Earth orbit as well as the moon and Mars.As with all SpaceX launches, this will be a livestreamed event. It’s a particularly notable one, being Falcon Heavy’s second flight ever and the very first commercial launch for the gargantuan launch vehicle. It’s been over a year since SpaceX sent Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster to space.

SpaceX sees Starship as a multi-purpose vehicle that's not just for long-distance journeys around the moon or to Mars. It's also intended for orbital missions, such as docking at the space station or delivering satellites into space. This illustration shows the spaceship docked in orbit.

© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. SpaceX sees Starship as a multi-purpose vehicle that’s not just for long-distance journeys around the moon or to Mars. It’s also intended for orbital missions, such as docking at the space station or delivering satellites into space. This illustration shows the spaceship docked in orbit.SpaceX will have the official livestream on their website, as well as at the YouTube Live link below, 20 minutes before launch:

The rocket’s payload, Arabsat-6A, will be released 34 minutes into the journey. As with the first launch of the Falcon Heavy, SpaceX will try to safely land the two side rocket boosters back at Cape Canaveral Landing Zones 1 and 2 in Florida.

a young man standing in front of a graffiti covered wall: Elon Musk gave Japanese billionaire entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa a lift prior to a Sept. 17, 2018 press conference announcing the #dearMoon project to send a group of artists around our lunar neighbor in 2023. If all goes as planned, Starship will ferry Maezawa and a selection of six to eight artists on the ambitious private lunar mission. Maezawa purchased all of the available seats for the flight.

© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. Elon Musk gave Japanese billionaire entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa a lift prior to a Sept. 17, 2018 press conference announcing the #dearMoon project to send a group of artists around our lunar neighbor in 2023. If all goes as planned, Starship will ferry Maezawa and a selection of six to eight artists on the ambitious private lunar mission. Maezawa purchased all of the available seats for the flight.The core booster is set to be captured by the Of Course I Still Love You drone ship floating in the Atlantic Ocean. If that occurs, it will be another history-making moment for SpaceX. The first retrieval didn’t go so well for the poor old core booster, which missed the landing and plunged into the ocean.

This futuristic rendering shows a collection of Starships hanging out on the surface of Mars. Elon Musk and SpaceX envision astronauts initially living out of the spaceships while constructing a more permanent human settlement on the Red Planet.

© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. This futuristic rendering shows a collection of Starships hanging out on the surface of Mars. Elon Musk and SpaceX envision astronauts initially living out of the spaceships while constructing a more permanent human settlement on the Red Planet.SpaceX will be hoping for a successful retrieval of all boosters as Falcon Heavy sets its sights on a second launch later this year.

Source: Cnet.com

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