After a more than two year hiatus, SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket was planned to have its next launch on October 9, 2021.
Unfortunately that has now been delayed until early 2022, but not because of issues with the massive rocket.
The USSF-44 mission was set to carry a payload of at least two separate satellites to orbit for the U.S. Space Force this weekend. Two additional rideshare payloads were planned to be onboard, including a microsatellite TETRA 1, built by Millenium Space Systems.
Apparently not everything was ready in time for the scheduled launch date. According to a Space Systems Command spokesperson, the mission has been delayed to early 2022 “to accommodate payload readiness,” reports SpaceFlightNow.
That puts the gap between Falcon Heavy launches at nearly three years, with the last one taking place in June 2019 for the U.S. Department of Defense.
With the delay, there could be a potential for five Falcon Heavy launches in 2022, almost double the number of launches to date.
Falcon Heavy first launched in 2018 in a popular space flight that sent a Tesla Roadster with dummy Starman on its way to Mars. With 27 Merlin engines and two Falcon 9 boosters, the space vehicle is capable of production over 5 million pounds of thrust.