SpaceX Falcon Heavy to Launch for First Time Since 2019 [VIDEO]
SpaceX is scheduled to launch the USSF-44 mission aboard its super heavy-lift launch vehicle, the Falcon Heavy, from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 9:54 a.m. ET/6:54 a.m. PT on Monday, October 31.
The mission will mark Falcon Heavy’s first launch since 2019 and fourth overall. Since Falcon Heavy’s previous flight, SpaceX has exclusively used its reusable Falcon 9 rockets to launch everything from satellites to crew missions to the Internal Space Station. the first the world’s most powerful rocket.
As part of the USSF-44 mission, SpaceX will launch two large classified payloads for the United States Space Force, along with several rideshare payloads, into a Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO).
This will be SpaceX’s first direct-to-GEO mission and 50th overall mission of 2022. According to Next Spaceflight, the total payload mass for the mission will be 3,700 kg.
SpaceX had to significantly modify the Falcon transporter erector at LC-39A to support Falcon Heavy instead of Falcon 9, in addition to making several other arrangements. You can watch SpaceX prepare to return Falcon Heavy to flight in the video below, courtesy of NASASpaceflight:
The flight will feature SpaceX’s famed dual Return To Launch/Landing Site (RTLS), with both Falcon Heavy side boosters returning to Landing Zones 1 and 2 at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. Falcon Heavy’s center core, meanwhile, will be expended.
Last week, SpaceX launched the Eutelsat HOTBIRD 13F satellite into orbit aboard a Falcon 9 rocket and also recovered the Crew Dragon capsule that carried Crew-4 astronauts back to Earth from the International Space Station.