Why This Week's Big Rocket Launch May Make History

National Geographic News

More than 50 years after the Saturn V rocket sent humans to the moon, launchpad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center may once again become a backdrop to history. Through it all, three cameras aboard the Tesla will hopefully capture the scene. If successful, the Falcon Heavy will become the most powerful rocket in the world by a factor of two, capable of launching more than 140,000 pounds of cargo--and one day perhaps passengers--into low-Earth orbit. Only the Saturn V, the workhorse of the Apollo moon missions, has lifted more mass into orbit. The window for attempting the launch opens up at 1:30 p.m. ET on February 6.

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy launch is reportedly set for February 6th


It looks as though it's finally happening. SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket may have a launch date, according to Chris G. of NASASpaceflight.com. The rocket will launch no earlier than February 6th, with a window of 1:30 PM ET to 4:30 PM ET. We've reached out to SpaceX for confirmation.

Watch SpaceX Test-Fire its Massive Falcon Heavy Rocket for the First Time


All 27 engines of SpaceX's massive Falcon Heavy rocket roared to life together for the first time Wednesday, violently spewing exhaust and steam in a successful static fire test that paves the way for the spacecraft's inaugural launch. In a static test, a rocket's engines are lit but the spacecraft is secured to a platform; it's a standard procedure meant to ensure a rocket is ready for an actual launch.

Watch SpaceX's Falcon Heavy launch today at 1:30 PM ET


Today, SpaceX will attempt to launch the Falcon Heavy rocket for the first time. If you'd like to watch the launch (and trust me, you definitely want to), then you can livestream it below. The stream will go live about 15–20 minutes before the launch window opens. Because this is a demo flight of a new rocket, though, delays can and should be expected.

Watch SpaceX's Test Launch of the Falcon Heavy Rocket


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