Today was the anticipated first commercial launch of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy. The first Falcon Heavy launch of any kind occurred about a year ago. Today’s launch was already delayed after it was originally anticipated for earlier this week. Now the launch has been delayed again until tomorrow. SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy will ultimately launch the Arabsat-6A satellite from Launch Complex 39Z (LC-39Z) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. You can watch a live stream of the watch in the video above when it happens, but the launch has been pushed back until tomorrow.
NOTE: To see updated live streams for today, April 11, please see Heavy’s new story about the Falcon Heavy launch time and live streams here at this link.
The Falcon Heavy launch for today has been delayed until April 11. The launch window opens at 6:35 p.m. Eastern on Thursday, April 11 and closes at 8:31 p.m. Eastern tomorrow.
The launch window was originally scheduled for today, Wednesday, April 10 at 6:30 p.m. Eastern (5:35 p.m. Central), closing at 8:32 p.m. Eastern. But the liftoff kept getting pushed back. Unfortunately, due to high wind shear, the launch was postponed until tomorrow with a window that starts at 6:35 p.m. Eastern.
Earlier the launch was pushed back to 8 p.m. Eastern before they ultimately decided to wait until tomorrow.
Here’s another live stream that will show the launch live from five miles away. Hopefully, this will work tomorrow too:
And here’s a stream from Fox 10 Phoenix that will likely also run tomorrow:
Here’s a stream from CBS for tomorrow:
Here’s the schedule for after liftoff tomorrow, April 11. The satellite will be deployed about 34 minutes after liftoff. After booster separation, the two side boosters will attempt to land at SpaceX’s two landing zones at Cape Canaveral Air Force base in Florida. The center core will attempt to land on the droneship in the Atlantic Ocean called “Of Course I Still Love You.”
Some interesting points to note about today’s launch. First, the center core is going to burn 25 seconds longer than it did during the demo last year. And it’s landing at its furthest distance so far.
There also won’t likely be a technical webcast this time, as SpaceX does not seem to be doing those as often anymore. They do show flight animation on a second camera stream, but it typically lacks the telemetry data that people enjoyed on the technical webcast.
According to Elon Musk, this is the first flight for Falcon Heavy Block 5.
Here’s the mission timeline for today, as shared by SpaceX for after the launch. The times are in minutes and seconds after launch.
- 01:09 Max Q (moment of peak mechanical stress on the rocket)
- 02:30 Booster engine cutoff (BECO)
- 02:34 Side boosters separate from center core
- 02:51 Side boosters begin boostback burn
- 03:31 Center core engine shutdown/main engine cutoff (MECO)
- 03:35 Center core and 2nd stage separate
- 03:42 2nd stage engine starts
- 04:07 Fairing deployment
- 06:11 Side boosters begin entry burn
- 07:00 Center core begins entry burn
- 07:51 Side booster landings
- 08:48 2nd stage engine cutoff (SECO-1)
- 09:48 Center core landing
- 27:34 2nd stage engine restarts
- 29:00 2nd stage engine cutoff (SECO-2)
- 34:02 Arabsat-6A satellite deployment
In other words, the satellites will be deployed about 34 minutes after launch. The side booster landings will be about 7:51 after launch and the center core landing will be about 9:48 after launch.