- The first Falcon Heavy rocket of SpaceX is set to take place at the end of October in more than three years, carrying a national security mission for the US Space Force.
- According to a Space Force official, Spaceflight Now reported that the fourth Falcon Heavy rocket is set to launch from Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on 28th October.
The Mission is codenamed USSF-44 and has been delayed for two years because of issues with the payload. Those issues have now been resolved, but no further details are provided.
Though a microsatellite named TETRA 1, built by Millennium Space Systems, will be along for the ride, very few details of the USSF-44 Mission are known. According to a request for proposals issued to prospective launch providers, the combined mass of the payloads will be less than 8,200 pounds (3,700 kilograms).
The Falcon Heavy rocket is a two-stage rocket, with the first stage consisting of three cores, each equivalent to a Falcon 9 rocket. Each core has nine Merlin engines. The 27 engines on the Falcon Heavy’s first stage produce more than 5 million pounds (22,819 kilonewtons) of thrust at liftoff.
The two side cores for the Mission are planned to land at the recovery zone of SpaceX at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, but the launch profile means that the core stage will not have enough fuel remaining to attempt its landing.
According to SpaceX, the 230-foot-tall (70 meters) Falcon Heavy rocket can lift approximately 141,000 lbs. (64 metric tons) of payload to low Earth orbit, making it the most powerful operational rocket when it launched for the first time in February 2018.
Though the Falcon Heavy has launched just three times, the rocket will carry several major missions in the future, that includes the Psyche asteroid mission in 2023, Europa Clipper in 2024 and the dark matter-hunting Roman Space Telescope in 2026.
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