HAWTHORNE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SpaceX confirmed today that the company is targeting the launch of the Falcon Heavy demonstration mission from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The two and half-hour primary launch window opens at 1:30 p.m. EST, or 18:30 UTC on Tuesday, February 6. The public should keep in mind that with launches of any demonstration launch vehicle, schedule changes are not unexpected.
In addition to the primary mission of launching and delivering Falcon Heavy’s payload to its intended orbit, SpaceX is attempting the secondary mission of landing all three of Falcon Heavy’s first stage cores, during this mission. Following booster separation, Falcon Heavy’s two side cores will return to land at SpaceX’s Landing Zones 1 and 2 (LZ-1 & 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. SpaceX has landed a first stage booster at Landing Zone 1 nine times prior to this mission and has successfully recovered Falcon 9 first stages from 12 missions at sea using the company’s Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ships. Landing Zones 1 and 2 are built on the former site of Space Launch Complex 13, a U.S. Air Force rocket and missile testing range.
There is the possibility that residents of Brevard, Indian River, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Volusia counties may hear one or more sonic booms during the landing attempts. Residents of Brevard County are most likely to hear one or more sonic booms, although what residents’ experience will depend on weather conditions and other factors. A sonic boom is a brief thunder-like noise a person on the ground hears when an aircraft or other vehicle flies overhead faster than the speed of sound.
Residents may wish to follow the company’s launch webcast for real time information concerning Tuesday’s launch. The webcast will be available at spacex.com/webcast beginning approximately twenty minutes ahead of launch.