SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch: Here's today's schedule and livestream

Isaac Cain
February 7, 2018

The launch, scheduled for 1:30 pm yesterday from Cape Canaveral, Florida, is the most ambitious yet for SpaceX, and has been hailed by industry experts as a game-changer because of its potential to propel the California-based company to the very forefront of the modern day space race. Like those Saturn V rockets, the Falcon Heavy is meant to take humans outside of low-Earth orbit, to the moon and perhaps one day to Mars. The launch is set for sometime between 1:30 and 4:30 p.m.

Falcon Heavy is a large, reusable launch vehicle that will allow the closely held company to bid on heavier payloads than it can with its Falcon 9, such as big commercial satellites and national security missions.

SpaceX founder, CEO and lead designer Elon Musk has chosen his midnight-cherry Tesla Roadster as the payload, with a mannequin named "Starman" at the wheel. At launch, stick around for live coverage or visit our 10News Facebook page.

In a surprising reversal, Musk said that the company most likely would not seek to fly humans on the Falcon Heavy, despite a pledge to fly a pair of tourists around the moon later this year. It had a liftoff thrust of 7.6 million pounds and could carry 260,000 pounds into space.

The three booster rockets used by Falcon Heavy to generate this power will land back on Earth, if all goes according to plan. This was part of the reason that getting Falcon Heavy safely off the pad was so critical and even considered a "win" at that point into Tuesday's launch.

While other rocket companies have looked to downsize, SpaceX has gone big - really big.

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In a tweet last month, Musk said he loves the thought of a auto driving - apparently endlessly through space and, perhaps being discovered by an alien race millions of years in the future.

Following the Roadster's deployment to its preliminary orbit, the Falcon Heavy's recycled side-boosters came flying back to Cape Canaveral for almost simultaneous twin touchdowns in separate landing zones. The whole thing will take place over the course of just about two hours, with an hour and a half of devoted to pre-launch preparations. Musk says the auto will play an endless loop of David Bowie's "Space Oddity".

Now there are some great expectations revolving around SpaceX at the moment.

"The only launch vehicle that has ever been more powerful is the Saturn V which launched the Apollo missions to the Moon".

"You can toss a Dragon way past the moon".

But for today, at least, SpaceX's cheering employees in Florida will keep their energy focused on Falcon Heavy.

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