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Watching SpaceX take its hardest start ever on Monday night



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SpaceX Falcon Heavy on the Launchpad for the STP-2 mission.


SpaceX

The most powerful rocket of Elon Musk's SpaceX will fly back to the sky. The first night launch of Falcon Heavy is scheduled for Monday, June 24th. This is SpaceX's third missile flight and one of the toughest in the company's history.

NASA has some of these payloads on board, the process will be broadcast live from 8 pm PT from the Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The actual start window will open at 20:30. PT and stays open for about four hours.

SpaceX also has its own livestream webcast:

At present, weather conditions are 70% off and additional weather updates will be provided on Monday. However, if the start does not go as planned, the backup window will open at 20:30 PT on Tuesday, June 25.

SpaceX shared on Monday a scenic view of Falcon Heavy sitting upright on the launch pad.


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This mission, called STP-2 for the Defense Department's Space Test Program-2, is a kind of UberPool for space companies. It will launch a few dozen satellites into orbit, including Lightsail 2, a awning test mission sponsored by science star Bill Nye . There will also be a Deep Space Atomic Clock to navigate spaceships to distant targets, as well as a satellite testing a new kind of green propellant for NASA.

Also, space company Celestis will send the cremated remains of 100 Earthlings including the Apollo 11 support astronaut Bill Pogue, into the Cosmos.

"The STP-2 mission will be one of the most difficult launches in the history of SpaceX," SpaceX said four separate upper-level burns, three separate orbits, and a total mission duration of more than six hours. By comparison, the last Falcon Heavy mission deployed its satellite just 34 minutes after launch. "This will be our most difficult start yet," tweeted the founder Elon Musk. SpaceX will try to land The side boosters on the landing zones and the central core of the droneship "Of course, I still love you" in the Atlantic. This is the first time that the side amplifiers are reused when launching Falcon Heavy – so the stakes are relatively high.

SpaceX hopes to avoid a repeat of Falcon Heavy's second flight in April, centering on the center, successfully landing on the drone, but was lost due to harsh sea conditions . SpaceX hopes to bring it home safely this time, but due to the orbital requirements of the heavys payload, this will be an extremely difficult acquisition as the core on the drone lands 768 miles off the coast – farther than ever.

Originally published on June 21st.
Updated June 23, 7:20 pm PT: Adds more background information.
Update on June 24, 8:30. PT: Adds the projected start time.


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