SpaceX aims to launch the Falcon Heavy tonight after several delays

After a series of weather delays and a last-minute countdown abort, SpaceX aims to launch the Falcon Heavy ViaSat-3 mission this evening at 7:29 p.m. ET. The launch has a window of 57 minutes that they may need to take advantage of due to the strong ground winds following a front that crossed the Florida Peninsula early this morning.

Falcon Heavy after enduring several severe thunderstorms (Richard Angle)

This evening’s mission was supposed to take off for the first time on Thursday, April 27th. However, this would end up being caused by bad weather over Kennedy Space Center, including a lightning bolt from the turret on LC-39A. Then SpaceX attempted another launch on Friday, April 28th, only to cancel the countdown at the T-58 seconds for reasons yet unknown.

Weather would then play another factor for Saturday, April 29th’s attempt, which SpaceX skipped due to another severe storm system over the majority of Florida.

If winds don’t play a spoiler this evening, this will be the Falcon Heavy’s sixth launch and the first time it has taken off in its fully expendable form. Currently, the 45th Space Weather Squadron predicts an 80% chance of acceptable weather during the launch period. This will be SpaceX’s 28th overall launch so far this year, maintaining an impressive launch cadence. SpaceX plans to launch the Falcon Heavy up to 3 more times with USSF 52, Echostar 24 and NASA’s delayed PSYCHE mission.

Falcon Heavy at LC-39A (Richard Angle)

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