Maiden SpaceX Falcon Heavy Plus Tesla Set for Thunderous Blastoff Feb 6 as World’s Most Powerful Rocket: Watch Live

First
fully integrated SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket is raised to vertical launch
position at Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida – as
seen up close on Feb. 5, 2017.  Nose cone housing Tesla Roadster payload is
stenciled with Falcon Heavy logo. Debut liftoff slated for Feb
. 6, 2018. Credit: Ken Kremer/SpaceUpClose.com

Ken
Kremer     SpaceUpClose.com     5
Feb 2018





KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL – After years of
development and delays for this ‘beast” of a vehicle, the maiden blastoff of
the triple core SpaceX Falcon Heavy carrying CEO Elon Musk’s cherry red Tesla
sports car – and that’s soon to become the ‘World’s Most Powerful Rocket’ – is
at last at hand at lunchtime Tuesday, Feb. 6,
from NASA’s historic
launch complex 39A
on the
Kennedy Space Center
in Florida – and the weather outlook tomorrow
is quite promising at this time too !








“All systems
remain green for launch at 1:30 p.m. EST tomorrow
,” SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said today, Feb. 5.  





The
payload on this first demonstration test flight is SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s ‘modified’ cherry red Tesla Roaster sports
car that will be hurled outward on a whimsical trip to Mars orbit on a heliocentric
orbit.  It will be playing David Bowie’s
hit song ‘Space Oddity.’











The mammoth rocket powered by 27 Merlin 1D first stage engines was rolled out from the huge
processing hanger at the launch complex and up the ramp to pad 39A this morning,
Feb. 5, on the 212 foot long transporter erector by SpaceX workers who then raised
it erect to launch position.
 







Tens of thousands of folks and space fans from all
across the globe have descended on the Florida Space Coast to experience first
hand the sure to be spectacularly bright and thunderously loud blastoff of Falcon
Heavy as it soars to space for the first time.
 


And to top all that off, SpaceX also plans to
recover all three first stage boosters – 1 by sea and 2 by land – a truly
science fictionesque thought – only its truly real science.
So that’s 1 up and 3 down – if all goes well. 

Maiden SpaceX
Falcon Heavy rocket is erected to vertical launch position at Launch Complex
39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida – as seen up close on Feb. 5,
2017.  Nose cone housing Tesla Roadster payload is
stenciled with Falcon Heavy logo. Debut liftoff slated for Feb
. 6, 2018. Credit: Ken Kremer/SpaceUpClose.com


At T Minus 1 Day all systems are currently ‘GO’ for
liftoff of t
he triple stick
rocket from
historic
pad 39A – that
sent Apollo astronauts to the Moon – from
the Kennedy Space Center
in
the early afternoon during a launch window that opens at 1:30 p.m. EST on Feb.
6.
 The two
and a half hour long launch window extends from 1:30 p.m. until 4:00 pm EST
(1830-2100 GMT).  The backup launch day
is Feb. 7.
You
can watch the launch live on a SpaceX dedicated webcast starting about 20 minutes prior to the 1:30
p.m. EST (1830 GMT) liftoff
time.

Watch the SpaceX broadcast live starting around 1:10 p.m.
EST at:  SpaceX.com/webcast 

First
fully integrated SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket is raised to vertical launch
position at Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida – as
seen up close on Jan. 9, 2017.  Nose cone housing Tesla Roadster payload is
stenciled with Falcon Heavy logo. Debut liftoff slated for Feb
. 6, 2018. Credit: Ken Kremer/SpaceUpClose.com

The enormous 22
story tall Falcon Heavy vehicle will generate by far the loudest, most
impressive and tremendous sounds thundering out from Florida’s Spaceport since
the shuttle shutdown in 2011.



First SpaceX
Falcon Heavy on pad 39A at KSC awaiting Feb 6 2018 blastoff. SpaceX Credit:
Julian Leek




The last regulatory hurdle was cleared on Friday, Feb. 2,
when the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granted SpaceX a launch license
for the debut launch of the mammoth Falcon Heavy rocket targeted for Tuesday
afternoon, Feb. 6 – clearing one of the last hurdles to history.






The launch has captured the imagination of space
enthusiasts and the general public alike.






Expectations of crowd size have been estimated at ranging
up to 100,000 people or more!






The launch is certain to be the largest in terms of crowd
size gathered since NASA’s final shuttle launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis in
July 2011.






The
Falcon Heavy is the most powerful rocket to launch since NASA’s Space Shuttles
were retired in 2011.






Sporting
5.1 million pounds of liftoff, it is twice as powerful as the ULA Delta IV
Heavy- currently the worlds most powerful rocket.





To
put that in perspective, the thrust of the 27 Merlin 1D engines on Falcon Heavy
is equivalent to 18 Boeing 747s 





Cherry red Tesla sports
car owned by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is the payload on the inaugural test flight
of his Falcon Heavy Rocket.  The Tesla
will be propelled to Mars on the rocket’s debut flight from KSC pad 39A in Feb 2018.     Credit: SpaceX

Musk also
announced today that a new Falcon Heavy launch simulation will be released shortly
– before liftoff.






“Falcon Heavy launch simulation almost ready. Will be set to
Bowie’s Life on Mars,” Musk tweeted.





The
latest
weather forecast at L- Minus 1 day outlines
very favorable conditions along the Florida Space Coast with an 80% chance of favorable conditions at launch time according
to
U.S. Air Force meteorologists with the 45th
Space Wing
Weather Squadron at
Patrick Air Force Base.



The
primary concerns on Feb. 6 are for Liftoff Winds and the Thick Cloud Layer
Rule.














“On
Tuesday [Feb. 6],
winds
will become easterly at 15 mph, bringing a few low-level clouds in off the
water. The main weather concerns are liftoff winds and thick clouds. Maximum
upper-level winds will be from the west at 90 knots near 40,000 feet,
said the 45th Space Wing Weather
Squadron
in the Feb. 5 weather
update.



In
case of a 24 hour delay the weather outlook remains promising with only a slip
dip to 70% chance of favorable launch condition
The primary concern on Wednesday, Feb.
7 is again for Liftoff Winds and the Thick Cloud Layer Rule.
Up close
view of SpaceX Falcon Heavy center booster nose cone loaded with Elon Musk’s
Tesla, side booster nose cones and grid fins. Debut
liftoff slated for Feb. 6, 2018.
Credit: Ken Kremer/SpaceUpClose.com/kenkremer.com
The triple stick Falcon
Heavy is comprised of a trio of Falcon 9 boosters – including a significantly
modified central core, to deal with aerodynamic stresses, that is attached to a
pair of side-mounted cores with newly developed nose cones mounted in place of
payload fairings. 
The two side cores are
‘flight-proven’ boosters that already launched once and are being recycled for
the Heavy.
The gigantic two stage Falcon Heavy stands more than 229 feet (70 meters) tall and measures 39.9 feet wide
(12.2 meters).  It also features a dozen
grid fins and a dozen landing legs attached to the first stage boosters in an
attempt to soft land all three cores – by land and by sea.



Read our detailed prelaunch
and launch stories. 






Watch
for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of Falcon Heavy and Falcon 9 , ULA and
NASA and
space mission
reports direct from the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force
Station, Florida.



Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing
Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.com –www.spaceupclose.com –
twitter @ken_kremer –
ken
at kenkremer.com






………….



Ken’s upcoming outreach events:



Learn more about the upcoming SpaceX Falcon
Heavy and Falcon 9 SES-16/GovSat-1 launches on Jan. 30 & Feb. 6, NASA
missions, ULA Atlas & Delta launches, SpySats and more at Ken’s upcoming
outreach events at Kennedy Space Center Quality Inn, Titusville, FL:



Feb 5/6: “SpaceX Falcon Heavy & Falcon 9
launches, ULA Atlas USAF SBIRS GEO 4 missile warning satellite, SpaceX
GovSat-1, CRS-14 resupply launches to the ISS, NRO & USAF Spysats, SLS,
Orion, Boeing and SpaceX Commercial crew capsules, GOES-S weather satellite
launch, OSIRIS-Rex, Juno at Jupiter, InSight Mars lander, Curiosity and
Opportunity explore Mars, NH at Pluto and more,” Kennedy Space Center Quality
Inn, Titusville, FL, evenings. Photos for sale







SpaceX CEO Elon
Musk discusses Falcon Heavy and rocketry during media briefing at NASA’s
Kennedy Space Center.  
Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com












Ken Kremer

Ken Kremer

Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and more space and mission reports direct from Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Stay tuned here for Ken's continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news. Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics. Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events.

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