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Elon Musk, the outspoken founder of SpaceX and more, wants to get into the business of sending people into space — and his firm continues, despite the myriad of challenges it’s faced, to achieve that goal.
On Tuesday, SpaceX will attempt to reach a new milestone, with hopes of successfully launching its Falcon Heavy Rocket, which, according to The New York Times, represents the most powerful rocket in operation in the world today.
Aboard Falcon Heavy will be Musk’s midnight cherry Tesla Roadster, which he hopes will “discovered by an alien race millions of years in the future.”
“The Falcon Heavy rocket is essentially a turbocharged version of SpaceX’s workhorse Falcon 9 rocket,” The New York Times explains, noting “It is the same height and its central booster looks the same. But attached on the sides are two additional Falcon 9 boosters, which triples the thrust at liftoff. That means that the Heavy will be able to lift far heavier payloads, up to 140,000 pounds, to low-Earth orbit.”
As of this morning, the rocket is docked on Pad 39A at the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida, which is notably adjacent to the same launch point of NASA’s most successful past missions, including 1969s Apollo 11 — the first mission which culminated in astronauts walking on the moon.
- Barring any unforeseeable complications, SpaceX plans to launch its Falcon Heavy rocket at around 3:45 pm Eastern Time (12:45 pm, Pacific)
- It will stream the entire event live on its website SpaceX.com, and via the official SpaceX YouTube channel. See other live streams here.
The launch was previously scheduled for 1:30 pm Eastern (10:30 am Pacific) but was pushed up to around 2:50 pm, then 3:45 pm as the result of high-altitude winds.
SpaceX allegedly has until 4:00 pm this afternoon to attempt a launch; and if the weather doesn’t cooperate, or a technical glitch manifests between now and then, the firm will be given a second opportunity to attempt on Wednesday between the same 1:30 and 4:00 pm timeframe.