SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy is set for its third-ever launch June 22, conveying 24 payloads for the U.S. Air Force and other government customers, from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
It’s the first time the U.S. military will utilize a Falcon Heavy rocket, and it will reuse the two boosters that propelled Falcon Heavy’s Arabsat-6A mission in April.
As indicated by an Air Force declaration, the launch is “among the most challenging launches in SpaceX history, with four separate upper-stage engine burns, three separate deployment orbits, and a final propulsive passivation maneuver during a total mission duration of over six hours.”
Known as STP-2, the mission will convey a wide scope of science and technology experiments and demonstrations. The different satellites will give information on weather forecasting, environmental monitoring, communications and other topics.
The military will assess the launch with an eye toward future missions that depend on SpaceX’s reusable boosters, the Air Force said.
Falcon Heavy is basically three littler Falcon 9 rockets tied together. In that configuration, it is the tallest and most powerful rocket being used today.
The maiden launch of the Falcon Heavy in February 2018 drew around 100,000 onlookers, and thousands lined streets and waterfronts to see the second launch. The launches are wonderful not only due to the extensive rocket taking off, but also since two boosters fly back to Cape Canaveral, making double sonic booms and a visual spectacle.
The third booster has, up until now, targeted a barge in the Atlantic Ocean for its landing.