SpaceX initially wanted to launch the Arabsat-6A yesterday (April 9), but the weather didn't permit.
The Falcon Heavy is scheduled to lift off from the Kennedy Space center in Florida at 6:36 pm (2236 GMT) and place the six-ton Arabsat-6A satellite into geostationary orbit some 22,500 miles (36,000 kilometers) above the Earth. According to the Orlando Sentinel, the booms may be heard across Florida, but specifically in Orange, Seminole, Brevard, and Volusia counties.
The SpaceX Falcon Heavy on the launchpad.
Development of the Falcon Heavy, like all of SpaceX's missions, has been described by SpaceX founder Elon Musk as a step toward his goal of sending people to Mars. SpaceX has high hopes for the recovery of rockets during this launch. Featuring three brand new Block 5 boosters, this mission also has the potential to redeem a slight anomaly that caused Falcon Heavy Flight 1's center core to be destroyed during a recovery attempt.
As is often the case with SpaceX launches, the company will be live streaming the entire affair via its YouTube channel.
The Falcon Heavy will be the second Falcon Heavy launch since last year's historic launch which was heralded as the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two.
Forecasters with the U.S. Air Force 45th Space Wing are predicting an 80 percent chance of good launch conditions for the almost two-hour window. It has three rocket boosters, which are strapped together during launch and are created to then break apart and make pinpoint landings back on Earth.
At the time of its launch, SpaceX chief Elon Musk said he wasn't sure how the start would go or whether it would be successful.
With the second launch of Falcon Heavy, two side boosters will attempt to fly back to twin landing pads at Kennedy Space Center, while the main booster will attempt an ocean barge landing.
"Arabsat-6A is a high-capacity telecommunications satellite that will deliver television, radio, Internet and mobile communications to customers in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe", SpaceX representatives wrote in a mission description. When Arabsat announced the contracts in 2015, it said at the time that it planned to launch the Arabsat 6A satellite aboard Falcon Heavy. That will be the first Falcon Heavy flight to re-use boosters.
That was back when SpaceX was still expected to test Falcon Heavy later that same year.
Falcon Heavy is not expected to fly almost as often as its smaller counterpart, which has completed more than 20 missions since last February. Falcon Heavy's closest competitor, the United Launch Alliance's Delta IV Heavy rocket, costs $350 million, according to CEO Tony Bruno.