Tomorrow will mark the Falcon Heavy, SpaceX’s heavy-lift rocket’s fifth launch. The rocket will launch under cover for the US military on a mission known as USSF-67 from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The launch was postponed by one day without explanation and was originally slated for today, Saturday, January 14. The launch will now take place on Sunday, January 15 at 5:56 p.m. ET (2:56 p.m. PT). The information on how to watch is provided below if you want to follow along at home.
The Falcon Heavy will carry out its fifth launch of the year on Sunday. The hefty rocket made its debut in February 2018 with a dramatic test flight that put Elon Musk, the creator and CEO of SpaceX, and a mannequin named Starman in the driver’s seat of a Tesla Roadster into orbit around the sun.
In April 2019 and once, in June 2019, the Falcon Heavy lifted off, launching working satellites each time. The USSF-44 mission for the Space Force, however, did not launch the rocket again until November of last year. According to observers in the space business, the 40-month wait was mostly caused by problems with customer payload preparation.
USSF-44 and USSF-67 both have secret missions. However, there is some information that we do know.
Continuous Broadcast Augmenting SATCOM 2 is the main payload, and it will be sent into geostationary orbit by the Falcon Heavy rocket, which is located 22,200 miles (35,700 kilometres) above the planet. Long Duration Propulsive ESPA (LDPE)-3A, a payload adapter that can hold up to six small satellites, is another rideshare spacecraft that will launch on Saturday.
Five Space Force payloads will be carried by LDPE-3A on USSF-67. According to an email from Space Force officials, they include “two operational prototypes for improved situational awareness and an operational prototype crypto/interface encryption payload providing secure space-to-ground communications capability” (Jan. 13).
Expectations for the SpaceX launch
Recently, SpaceX has been working hard to be ready for the maiden launch of its Super Heavy/Starship vehicle. However, before the company’s most potent rocket yet takes to the skies, it will conduct another launch of the Falcon Heavy, which is now its most potent rocket.
The Falcon Heavy consists of three modified SpaceX Falcon 9 first stages, which are strapped together.Upper stage bearing payload is placed above the core booster.Similar to Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy’s first stages are reusable. Officials from the Space Force said that the two side boosters for USSF-67 will launch for the second time; they previously did so on USSF-44. There has never been a flight of the USSF-67 core booster.
The SpaceXFalcon Heavy features two side boosters and is a bigger rocket than the company’s regular Falcon 9, which has one booster. These two rockets will return to Earth to land and may even be put to use again after the Heavy’s stages have separated. The two rockets’ touchdown in the two landing zones at Cape Canaveral, known as LZ-1 and LZ-2, will be broadcast live along with the launch.
SpaceX is not disclosing much information on the payloads for the missions. According to NASA Spaceflight, the Continuous Broadcast Augmenting SATCOM 2 (CBAS-2) satellite is the primary payload for the U.S. Space Force, while the Long Duration Propulsive ESPA – 3A (LDPE-3A) platform is the secondary payload. Together, these two payloads are entering geostationary orbit. Although little else is known about the former, it is a military communication satellite. This later one is transporting test and prototype payloads.
How you can view the launch
The launch will broadcast live on YouTube by SpaceX. The video for the launch may be found here on YouTube, however it is temporarily locked to private. It’ll probably start to be accessible about 15 minutes before launch.
Additionally, you can go to SpaceX’s launch webpage, which has all the information about the occasion and will have the video link available as well.
According to SpaceX’s usual livestreams, the stream should start about 5:45 p.m. ET (2:45 p.m. PT) as the launch is slated for just before 6 p.m. ET (3 p.m. PT) . For real-time updates on the launch, you may follow SpaceX on Twitter.