SpaceX readies Falcon Heavy for launch

Elon Musk’s SpaceX has revealed launch plans for the next Falcon Heavy flight. A tweet posted by the company indicates the powerful rocket will take to orbit again no earlier than Wednesday, July 26th, when it will launch the Jupiter 3/Echostar XXIV communications satellite.

The launch will take off from the Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and is scheduled for 11:04 p.m. (03:04 UTC on the 27th). It will put the payload in orbit at 95 degrees west latitude and 22,300 miles over the equator.

The payload contains a satellite made by Maxar and was flown in from California. It is the heaviest payload ever fired to geostationary transfer orbit, at 9,200 kg (20,282 lbs). The satellite is equipped with 14 solar panels spanning 127 ft after deployment. It has a capacity of more than 500 gigabytes and offers speeds of up to 100 Mb per second.

SpaceX expects an 85 percent chance of good weather. However, if the launch has to be postponed, there is another launch window the next day at the same time, but will a lower 70 percent of good launch weather. The flight will reuse boosters B1064 and B1065, having previously used to launch the USSF-44 and USSF-67 Falcon Heavy missions, according to SpaceLaunchNow.

The Falcon Heavy rocket was idle for a long time but now has several flights scheduled into the future.

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