UPDATE: THEY DID IT. It couldn't have gone more perfectly.
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Musk says he gives the launch at best a 50-50 chance of working today, and that's if they can even get the go-ahead to countdown. Space is hard.
If #FalconHeavy's launch is successful, the rocket becomes the most powerful in operation. One of the things it's carrying into orbit: Musk's red Tesla electric sports car. And a loop of David Bowie's 'Space Oddity.'
Watch the launch live, above. [Source]
The first test flight of Falcon Heavy is now targeted for Tuesday, Feb. 6th at 3:05 PM ET from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Teams are watching upper level wind shear and will continue to update as information becomes available.
When Falcon Heavy lifts off, it will be the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two. With the ability to lift into orbit nearly 64 metric tons (141,000 lb)---a mass greater than a 737 jetliner loaded with passengers, crew, luggage and fuel--Falcon Heavy can lift more than twice the payload of the next closest operational vehicle, the Delta IV Heavy, at one-third the cost.
Falcon Heavy draws upon the proven heritage and reliability of Falcon 9. Its first stage is composed of three Falcon 9 nine-engine cores whose 27 Merlin engines together generate more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff, equal to approximately eighteen 747 aircraft. Only the Saturn V moon rocket, last flown in 1973, delivered more payload to orbit. Falcon Heavy was designed from the outset to carry humans into space and restores the possibility of flying missions with crew to the Moon or Mars.
All systems remain go for today’s test flight of Falcon Heavy. Weather is 90% favorable for today’s two-and-a-half hour launch window, which opens at 1:30 p.m. EST, or 18:30 UTC. pic.twitter.com/oYrZZQzzbo
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) February 6, 2018