SpaceX plans to launch today the long-awaited Falcon Heavy rocket. A successful mission would help the space company prove it’s capable of carrying large payloads that would attract commercial and government contracts.
First announced to the public in 2011, Falcon Heavy is expected to generate 5.1 million pounds of thrust at liftoff and will be capable of carrying more than 140,000 pounds to low-Earth orbit. Falcon Heavy’s first stage is composed of three Falcon 9 nine-engine cores with 27 Merlin engines, which were successfully test-fired last week.
The dummy payload for the test mission is Elon Musk’s personal Tesla Roadster. Musk said on Twitter, “I love the thought of a car drifting apparently endlessly through space and perhaps being discovered by an alien race millions of years in the future.”
The launch is currently slated for 3:45 p.m. EST time from Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39A. Watch the livestream below.