SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket targeting new launch date from Kennedy Space Center

Prepare for traffic near KSC, Port Canaveral


CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Spectators eager to watch SpaceX's three-core Falcon Heavy rocket launch from Kennedy Space Center will have to wait at least one more day, according to the latest Eastern Range launch schedules.

Teams are now targeting no earlier than 6:36 p.m. Wednesday for liftoff from pad 39A on the much-vaunted rocket's first operational mission, according to News 6 partner Florida Today. The launch window will remain open until 8:35 p.m.

The delay is good news on the weather front: The forecast on Tuesday was far from favorable, but Wednesday evening's conditions look much better for liftoff. The Air Force's 45th Weather Squadron is expecting 80 percent "go" conditions during the window.

[FALCON HEAVY: Beginner’s guide to Falcon Heavy launch ahead of Tuesday’s liftoffFalcon Heavy launch: Prepare for traffic near KSC, Port Canaveral]

The vehicle launched once before in February 2018 on a demonstration mission, but Wednesday's flight will mark its first paying ride. Saudi Arabia's Arabsat is expecting its Lockheed Martin-built commercial communications satellite to stay in geostationary orbit for up to 15 years.

For spectators on the Space Coast, meanwhile, the boosters will again return to steal the show –  shortly after liftoff, the two side boosters will separate and target automated landings at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. After firing a few seconds longer, the center core will attempt a landing on the Of Course I Still Love You drone ship, but that won't be visible aside from SpaceX's webcast.

Wednesday's flight isn't an exact copy of last year's, however, as this vehicle will feature 10 percent more thrust – 5.1 million pounds from 27 Merlin engines – when compared to the February demonstration flight.