Launch date of 2nd Falcon Heavy flight pushed back
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — The first flight of a Falcon Heavy rocket with a commercial payload will have to wait a little while longer before lifting off from one of the most historic launch sites on Earth.
SpaceX had been planning to send the Arabsat-6A satellite to orbit on April 7, 2019. However, the liftoff date has now been pushed back to April 9 at 6:36 p.m. EDT (22:36 GMT). The Falcon Heavy has only been launched once before, in February 2018.
When the massive rocket takes to the skies, it will begin its journey from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A in Florida, which is the same pad from which Apollo 11 got underway.
Arabsat-6A is a Saudi Arabian geostationary communications satellite that was built by Lockheed Martin and is based off of the A2100 bus. The spacecraft is being launched to provide television, internet and phone services to the Middle East, Africa and Europe.
The first Falcon Heavy launch carried a Tesla Roadster that belonged to SpaceX’s CEO and Founder, Elon Musk. That automobile is “driven” by a mannequin, which has been dubbed “Starman.”
Arabsat-6A won’t enter into a heliocentric orbit as Starman did. Rather, the satellite will be placed into a geostationary orbit as part of the Arabsat-6G program.
Jason Rhian spent several years honing his skills with internships at NASA, the National Space Society and other organizations. He has provided content for outlets such as: Aviation Week & Space Technology, Space.com, The Mars Society and Universe Today.