Falcon Heavy launch day weather looks good

SpaceX set for test flight Tuesday of new rocket

By Emilee Speck - Digital journalist

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - The much-anticipated Falcon Heavy test flight could be delayed, but weather will likely not be the reason, according to the launch forecast released Friday by U.S. Air Force weather officials.

Air Force weather officials released the first forecast for the Falcon Heavy test flight expected to happen Tuesday, and so far, so good.

Four days ahead of launch, the 45th Weather Squadron that manages the eastern range at Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral released the first forecast.

SpaceX is targeting Tuesday, Feb. 6, for the Falcon Heavy flight demonstration from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Launchpad 39A. The three-hour launch window opens at 1:30 p.m.

The chance of weather delaying the Falcon Heavy liftoff on Tuesday is 20 percent. The primary concerns are wind and thick clouds. Winds are expected to be 15 mph, pushing in a few clouds from the water, according to the forecast.

SpaceX has reserved the range for Wednesday if the launch scrubs on Tuesday. Weather conditions for the backup day worsen slightly to a 30 percent chance that weather causes a delay. The main concerns are still winds and thick clouds.

When Falcon Heavy lifts off, it will become the most powerful rocket in the commercial market. At about 20 stories tall with three core stages, the rocket boasts 5.1 million pounds of thrust and can carry the weight of a jetliner full of passengers into space.

For its test flight, Falcon Heavy, which is equipped to launch heavy payloads to the moon and Mars, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk decided to send up the product of another one of his companies: a cherry red Tesla Roadster.

On Monday, one day ahead of the test flight, Musk told reporters on a call that he expects the launch to go on Tuesday as planned.

"It's going to be exciting one way or another," Musk said. "One big boom. I'd say tune in it's going to be worth your time."

The electric sports car is mounted in the rocket’s nose cone, and Musk said its destination is Mars orbit.

Launch details

Rocket: SpaceX Falcon Heavy

Pad: Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39A

Launch window: Feb. 6 or Feb. 7 at 1:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Weather: 80 percent "go"

Landing: Two core stages to land at Cape Canaveral Landing Zone 1

How to watch online: Here on ClickOrlando.com/space

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