SpaceX Delays Falcon Heavy’s Historic First Commercial Launch

SpaceX’s most powerful rocket — the Falcon Heavy — was ready to send Saudi Arabia’s Arabsat-6A telecommunications satellite into orbit Wednesday, but high atmospheric winds have forced SpaceX to postpone the launch by 24 hours.

SpaceX delays Falcon

On Wednesday Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO suggested that a delay was likely due to “upper atmospheric wind shear” and SpaceX confirmed there would be no launch on the day.

The launch was scheduled for no earlier than 5:32 p.m. PT after the atmospheric conditions pushed the historic flight all the way to the end of its launch window. SpaceX will now use its backup window for launch, which is scheduled to open at 3:32 p.m. PT on April 11 and will remain open until 5:32 p.m. PT.

As with all SpaceX launches, this will be a livestreamed event. It’s a particularly notable one, being Falcon Heavy’s second flight ever and the very first commercial launch for the gargantuan launch vehicle. It’s been over a year since SpaceX sent Elon Musk’sTesla Roadster to space.

SpaceX will have the official livestream on their website, as well as at the YouTube Live link below, 20 minutes before launch:

The rocket’s payload, Arabsat-6A, will be released 34 minutes into the journey. As with the first launch of the Falcon Heavy, SpaceX will try to safely land the two side rocket boosters back at Cape Canaveral Landing Zones 1 and 2 in Florida.

The core booster is set to be captured by the Of Course I Still Love You drone ship floating in the Atlantic Ocean. If that occurs, it will be another history-making moment for SpaceX. The first retrieval didn’t go so well for the poor old core booster, which missed the landing and plunged into the ocean.

SpaceX will be hoping for a successful retrieval of all boosters as Falcon Heavy sets its sights on a second launch later this year.

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