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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Live Coverage of the Falcon Heavy Demonstration Flight
Launch Video and Screenshots Added

SpaceX Live Webcast

UPDATES (in reverse chronological order)

**3:58 pm**

A view of the SpaceX Starman kitted out on the SpaceX spacesuit and sitting in the Tesla Roadster.

**4:10 pm** 

Here is a replay of the launch.

**4:53 pm** 

Both side boosters have successfully landed

**3:45 pm** 

The launch is a success!

**3:15 pm** 

Added Live SpaceS webcast to top of page so people don't have to scroll forever to reach it.

**3:02 pm**

Center Core filled, two side cores have reached RP-1 kerosene fueling topping targets! No issues.

**2:50 pm**

Everyday stronaut is now live


**1:20 pm** 

Launch delay to 20:05 UTS (3:05 pm Eastern) due to upper atmosphere winds.

**12:52 pm** 

For those of you who want to listen to public safety radio traffic, here is Kennedy Space Center Communications. On this feed, you can hear
KSC Tower, NASA weather aircraft, and support aircraft.

**12:02 pm**

Launch pushed back an hour to 2:30 pm per Elon Musk: Upper atmosphere winds currently 20% above max allowable load. Holding for an hour to allow winds to diminish.

Today is the day of the much-anticipated Falcon Heavy Demo Flight. If all goes well, the new rocket designed and built by SpaceX will launch from Cape Canaveral sometime after 1 pm. The launch window is from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm. The demonstration flight will be using two recycled Falcon 9 boosters and a beefed-up Falcon 9 for the core booster as the first stage. All components of the first stage are supposed to return to earth for re-use in a future flight. The two outer Falcon 9s will return simultaneously to the SpaceX landing pads and the core booster will land on the autonomous drone barge " Of Course I Still Love You" in the Atlantic Ocean. The barge is named after a planet-sized Culture starship which first appears in Ian Banks' "The Player of Games" science fiction novel. SpaceX also operates another barge ship also named after another Culture starship and it is called, "Just Read the Instructions."

After the rocket coasts in orbit for a bit, it will fire off the second stage again and head out to pass near Mars with Elon Musk's Midnight Cherry Red Tesla Roadster onboard. A press kit detailing the timing of events is posted below the videos.

A couple of videos that explain more about this flight are posted below, then there are a number of video players embedded that will have live video of the launch if you are unable to get to a TV where you are when the big event takes place.

Falcon Heavy Launch, What Should We Expect?

Falcon Heavy Animation

Live Coverage of the launch (multiple channels are listed)



PBS News HOur

Julian Danzer

Florida Cam

 Press Kit

February 2018 Falcon Heavy Demonstration Mission 

Mission Overview 

SpaceX is targeting launch of the Falcon Heavy demonstration mission on Tuesday, February 6 from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The primary launch window opens at 1:30 p.m. EST, or 18:30 UTC, and closes at 4:00 p.m. EST, or 21:00 UTC. A backup launch window opens on Wednesday, February 7 at 1:30 p.m. EST, or 18:30 UTC, and closes at 4:00 p.m. EST, or 21:00 UTC. 

When Falcon Heavy lifts off, it will be the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two, with the ability to lift more than twice the payload of the next vehicle, at one-third the cost. Only the Saturn V moon rocket, last flown in 1973, delivered more payload to orbit. Three cores make up the first stage of Falcon Heavy. The side cores, or boosters, are connected to the center core at its base and at the vehicle’s interstage. With a total of 27 Merlin engines, Falcon Heavy’s three cores are capable of generating more than 5 million pounds of thrust. 

For this test flight, Falcon Heavy’s two side cores are both flight-proven. One launched the Thaicom 8 satellite in May 2016 and the other supported the CRS-9 mission in July 2016. SpaceX will attempt to land all three of Falcon Heavy’s first stage cores during this test. Following booster separation, Falcon Heavy’s two side cores will attempt to land at SpaceX’s Landing Zones 1 and 2 (LZ-1 and LZ-2) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. Falcon Heavy’s center core will attempt to land on the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. 

The payload for Falcon Heavy’s demonstration mission is SpaceX CEO and Lead Designer Elon Musk’s midnight-cherry Tesla Roadster. Demonstration missions like this one typically carry steel or concrete blocks as mass simulators, but SpaceX decided it would be more worthwhile to launch something fun and without irreplaceable sentimental value: a red Roadster for the red planet. Following launch, Falcon Heavy’s second stage will attempt to place the Roadster into a precessing Earth-Mars elliptical orbit around the sun. It’s important to remember that this mission is a test flight. Even if we do not complete all of the experimental milestones that are being attempted during this test, we will still be gathering critical data throughout the mission. Ultimately, a successful demonstration mission will be measured by the quality of information we can gather to improve the launch vehicle for our existing and future customers. 

February 2018 Mission Timeline (all times approximate) 

COUNTDOWN Hour/Min/Sec Events 

- 01:28:00 SpaceX Launch Director verifies go for propellant load 
- 01:25:00 RP-1 (rocket grade kerosene) loading underway 
- 00:45:00 LOX (liquid oxygen) loading underway 
- 00:07:00 Falcon Heavy begins engine chill prior to launch 
- 00:01:00 Flight computer commanded to begin final prelaunch checks 
- 00:01:00 Propellant tank pressurization to flight pressure begins 
- 00:00:45 SpaceX Launch Director verifies go for launch 
- 00:00:05 Engine controller commands side booster engine ignition sequence to start 
- 00:00:03 Engine controller commands center core engine ignition sequence to start 
- 00:00:00 Falcon Heavy liftoff 


00:01:06 Max Q (moment of peak mechanical stress on the rocket) 
00:02:29 Booster engine cutoff (BECO) 
00:02:33 Side cores separate from center core 00:02:50 Side cores begin boostback burn 
00:03:04 Center core engine shutdown/main engine cutoff (MECO) 
00:03:07 Center core and 2nd stage separate 
00:03:15 2nd stage engine starts 
00:03:24 Center core begins boostback burn 
00:03:49 Fairing deployment 
00:06:41 Side cores begin entry burn 
00:06:47 Center core begins entry burn 
00:07:58 Side core landings 
00:08:19 Center core landing 
00:08:31 2nd stage engine cutoff (SECO-1) 
00:28:22 2nd stage engine restarts 
00:28:52 2nd stage engine cutoff (SECO-2) Mission continues on an experimental long coast and third stage two burn to target a precessing Earth-Mars elliptical orbit around the sun 

Launch Facility Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center, Florida Built to support the Apollo program in the 1960s, LC-39A supported many of the Apollo missions, including the first Saturn V launch (Apollo 4), and Apollo 11, which sent the first humans to the surface of the moon. In 2014, SpaceX signed a 20-year lease with NASA for the use of LC-39A. Since then, the company has made significant upgrades to modernize the pad’s structures and ground systems, while also preserving its important heritage. Extensive modifications to LC-39A have been made to support launches of both the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch vehicles. 


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