Spaceflight Insider

High winds ground Falcon Heavy

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket with Arabsat-6A encapsulated on top waits for liftoff at Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39A. The flight is now expected no earlier than April 11. Photo Credit: Michael Howard / SpaceFlight Insider

SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket with Arabsat-6A encapsulated on top awaits liftoff at Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A. The flight is now expected no earlier than April 11. Photo Credit: Michael Howard / SpaceFlight Insider

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — Higher than acceptable upper level winds prompt mission managers at SpaceX to postpone the launch of the company’s Falcon Heavy rocket.

The massive rocket, which was being prepared to launch sometime between 6:35 p.m. and 8:32 p.m. EDT April 10 (22:35 GMT April 10 and 00:32 GMT April 11), 2019, is now expected to lift off from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A no earlier than the evening of April 11 with the window opening at the same time.

The forecast for April 11 is expected to have a 90 percent chance of acceptable conditions during the launch window with the only concerns being cumulus clouds. However, this prediction does not take into account upper level wind speeds.

Being orbited by the Falcon Heavy is Arabsat-6A, a Saudi Arabian satellite destined for geostationary orbit. The 13,000-pound (6,000-kilogram) satellite is designed to provide television, internet and phone services to customers throughout the Middle East and northern Africa for a planned period of 15 years.

 

 

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Derek Richardson has a degree in mass media, with an emphasis in contemporary journalism, from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. While at Washburn, he was the managing editor of the student run newspaper, the Washburn Review. He also has a blog about the International Space Station, called Orbital Velocity. He met with members of the SpaceFlight Insider team during the flight of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 551 rocket with the MUOS-4 satellite. Richardson joined our team shortly thereafter. His passion for space ignited when he watched Space Shuttle Discovery launch into space Oct. 29, 1998. Today, this fervor has accelerated toward orbit and shows no signs of slowing down. After dabbling in math and engineering courses in college, he soon realized his true calling was communicating to others about space. Since joining SpaceFlight Insider in 2015, Richardson has worked to increase the quality of our content, eventually becoming our managing editor. @TheSpaceWriter

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