SpaceX Falcon Heavy set for launch tonight

SpaceX has received its launch licence for the test of its Falcon Heavy rocket, Spaceflight Now reported.

A 2.5-hour window for the launch will open at 20:30 South Africa time, and close at 23:00.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said the launch is currently scheduled for 20:30.

SpaceX conducted a static test fire of all 27 Merlin engines on the Falcon Heavy launch vehicle at the end of January.

The engines are split between three Falcon 9 boosters and generate thrust equal to about 18 Boeing 747 aircraft.

“Only the Saturn V moon rocket, last flown in 1973, delivered more payload to orbit,” said SpaceX.

Musk said he does not expect the first launch of the Falcon Heavy to result in the rocket leaving the atmosphere.

“I hope it makes it far enough away from the pad that it does not cause pad damage. I would consider even that a win.”

Now read: SpaceX rocket survives high-thrust ocean landing

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SpaceX Falcon Heavy set for launch tonight