Update: SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy triple-core rocket lifts off with NASA’s Psyche spacecraft at 10:19 a.m. EDT Friday from Kennedy Space Center followed by a double booster landing at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station shortly after.
It’s SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch (and landing) day!
Watch above and follow live updates below as SpaceX teams at Kennedy Space Center in Florida work to launch a triple-core Falcon Heavy rocket packed with NASA’s Psyche spacecraft, followed shortly after by a double booster landing attempt at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
The Psyche mission is scheduled to launch at 10:19 a.m. EDT, pending favorable weather conditions.
Updates from Friday’s event below:
Reinforcements have landed:
10:29 AM EDT: Falcon Heavy’s double-sided boosters touched down at Landing Zones 1 and 2 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
10:19 AM EST: A triple-core SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida carrying NASA’s Psyche spacecraft on a mission to study a mineral-rich asteroid.
Voice boom reminder: Expect a sonic boom as the double-sided boosters aim to land at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in about eight minutes.
10:18 AM EST: With less than a minute to go until liftoff, SpaceX and NASA are still “ready” to launch a Falcon Heavy rocket from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
10:09 AM EST: SpaceX and NASA continue the countdown to the on-time liftoff at 10:19 a.m. EDT for the Falcon Heavy Psyche mission from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Weather conditions surrounding the spaceport remain in good condition, and all pre-flight procedures are on track.
Voice boom reminder: About eight minutes after liftoff this morning, the twin boosters will target landing at Landing Zones 1 and 2 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. The return trip will produce largely harmless — but often startling — sonic booms when vehicles exceed the speed of sound threshold. They only last for a split second but can be heard within a 100-mile radius depending on track, humidity, cloud cover, wind direction, and more.
9:49 AM EST: Here’s a look at the remaining milestones to be crossed during this morning’s countdown:
- 00:18:30 minutes LOX second stage loading begins
- 00:07:00 minutes The Falcon Heavy starts cooling the engine
- 00:00:59 seconds The flight computer ordered the final pre-launch checks to begin
- 00:00:45 seconds SpaceX’s launch director checks the launch
- 00:00:20 seconds Fuel tanks pressurize for flight
- 00:00:06 seconds The engine controller commanded the engine ignition sequence to start
- 00:00:00 Falcon Heavy takes off
9:25 AM EST: Both the NASA and SpaceX teams at Kennedy Space Center gave the “go” command to continue loading propellant for the triple-core Falcon Heavy rocket into Pad 39A. This will start at T-minus 50 minutes.
Jim and Maureen Tingwald of Branson, Missouri, secured seats at the top of the east-facing bleachers in the launch viewing area at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Jim surprised Maureen for their 25th wedding anniversary by booking a 10-day vacation in Orlando. Out of curiosity, the couple headed from their apartment to the Space Coast to watch their first-ever launch.
“Experiencing it in person is very exciting,” she said. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” he added.
9:19 AM EST: With less than an hour to go until liftoff, all systems appear to be in good condition and the weather around Kennedy Space Center appears to still be favorable for liftoff. The call to begin refueling should appear in approximately seven minutes. Stay tuned.
9:15 AM EST: Today’s Falcon Heavy payload is NASA’s Psyche spacecraft designed to study a metal-rich asteroid of the same name located between Mars and Jupiter. The Psyche mission is NASA’s first science mission to fly on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket, which features two recycled side boosters that fly for the fourth time.
The Psyche mission aims to achieve the following scientific objectives:
- Understand iron cores, a previously unexplored component of planetary formation.
- Determine whether the soul is a nucleus or an unmolten substance
- Determine the relative ages of the surface areas of the soul
- Determine whether small metallic objects contain the same optical elements expected in the Earth’s high-pressure core
- Determine whether Psyche formed under more oxidizing or reducing conditions than the Earth’s core
- Describing the morphology of the soul by measuring its topography
8:55 AM EST: Good morning, everyone, and welcome to our space team’s live coverage updates of the launch of NASA’s SpaceX Psyche mission from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The teams are working on an on-time liftoff this morning at 10:19 a.m. EST from pad 39A. Weather conditions for the launch improved this morning to 85% “launch.”
SpaceX’s launch director is expected to provide final confirmation on whether fueling of the triple-core Falcon Heavy rocket will proceed at T-minus 53. Stay tuned for more frequent updates as we continue today’s countdown.
At the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Psyche spectators slowly file into clusters of bleachers in the launch viewing area facing NASA Parkway, about seven miles from Pad 39A. The sky was blue with light puffy clouds now visible overhead, a stark contrast to the rainfall and heavy cloud cover earlier this morning in central Brevard.
Broadcaster John Furness, holding a microphone, sparked a round of applause when he announced that the weather forecast for Psyche had improved to 85%. “Nothing has changed. The weather is improving as we speak. We are still on time for the launch at 10:19,” Viernes announced.
Liftoff from pad 39A is scheduled for Friday morning at 10:19 a.m. EDT.
NASA’s Psyche spacecraft must lift off from KSC exactly on time or be delayed for another day to escape Earth’s gravity and make the 2.2 billion-mile journey to study the 144-mile-long, potato-shaped asteroid 16 Psyche.
Teams have daily opportunities to launch the first interplanetary mission on Falcon Heavy until October 25 if necessary.
“Asteroid Autumn”:NASA’s Psyche mission orbits and studies a rare metallic asteroid
What is the weather like when the SpaceX Falcon Heavy Psyche launches?
“Rain and storms are expected at the spaceport late Thursday, continuing through the launch window on Friday. The primary weather concerns at launch are anvil cloud, thick cloud layers, and cumulus cloud bases,” NASA said Thursday in a statement.
If necessary, the next available launch window will be at 10:24 AM EST on Saturday.
According to NASA, “Meteorologists expect a 70% chance of favorable conditions for a launch opportunity (Saturday), with the cumulus cloud base the main weather concern.”
If the rumble of nearly 5 million pounds of thrust generated by the Merlin’s 27 main engines at liftoff isn’t enough to attract attention, then The window-shaking low-frequency sonic booms generated by tandem landings at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station must have been minutes away.
About three minutes into Falcon Heavy’s flight, the side boosters will stop and simultaneously fall away from the central core, which will continue to help propel NASA’s Psyche spacecraft into a distant orbit between Mars and Jupiter.
The Falcon Heavy’s dual booster landing will appear as two arms slightly separated as the boosters target landing zones 1 and 2 at Cape Canaveral. Each Falcon 9 booster generates a triple boom on its way back for landing, although by the time the noise reaches spectators on the ground, it is interpreted as a single combined sound.
The largely harmless — but often startling — sonic booms occur when a vehicle exceeds the speed of sound threshold. They only last for a split second but can be heard within a 100-mile radius depending on track, humidity, cloud cover, wind direction, and more.
What is NASA’s psychological mission?
NASA said in a statement: “The Psyche mission is to study an asteroid that may be like the Earth’s core, and consists of a mixture of rocks, iron and nickel metal.” “The asteroid provides a unique window into these building blocks of planetary formation and an opportunity to explore a previously unexplored type of world.”
According to NASA, the spacecraft will take about six years to complete the journey to its final home in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
The next expected liftoff from the Space Coast is tentatively scheduled to be another SpaceX Falcon 9 with more to come Starlink Internet satellites from Cape Canaveral Space Station It is scheduled to take off on Friday evening.
For the latest schedule updates, visit floridatoday.com/space.
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