Space X launch LIVE updates: Elon Musk Falcon Heavy rocket launch TODAY – latest news | Science | News

Elon Musk’s SpaceX will launch the Falcon Heavy rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, with a launch window of between 6.30pm GMT (1.30pm local time EST) and 9pm GMT (4pm EST).

The rocket that SpaceX is set to launch has a thrust power of 2500 tons – the equivalent of 18 Boeing 747 aircraft at full throttle.

The rocket is twice as powerful as any other rocket that has ever been created before and can carry up to 140,000 pounds of cargo.

Rather than carrying a customers’ payload, the Falcon Heavy will carry a “cherry Tesla Roadster” to orbit Mars, playing David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’ on repeat. The firm said it would “be in deep space for a billion years or so”.

All time stamps are GMT.


The Falcon Heavy is set to launch from Florida

Wednesday, February 7

7.40am – Elon Musk describes “big relief” at positive SpaceX launch and hopes success leads to “space race”

SpaceX’s successful launch of its Falcon Heavy rocket has been described as a “big relief” by co-founder Elon Musk.

The US entrepeneur had only given the launch a 50 percent chance of liftoff and told reporters afterwards: “I had this image of this giant explosion on the pad, with wheels bouncing down the road and the logo landing somewhere with a thud.”

He added: “But fortunately, that’s not what happened. Crazy things come true.”

Mr Musk later tweeted out a video of the the Tesla Roadster heading towards Mars with one of his electric cars in the payload cargo and David Bowie’s hit song “Space Oddity” playing on loop.

The car was last seen on SpaceX’s live broadcast of the launch, flying over the breathtaking blue planet below it, before the stream cut out in orbit around Earth, captured from SpaceX’s mission control. 

Mr Musk says he is now hoping for a “space race” by private ventures and other countries – a nod to the 1960s Cold War contest between the United States and the Soviet Union.

9.02pm – SpaceX completes successful launch

SpaceX has praised its ‘outstanding’ Falcon Heavy launch, which it says went according to plan.

The liftoff saw the spacecraft blasted into space above the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida. 

The rocket’s two side boosters, which detached from the main rocket miles above the earth, successfully returned to landing pads close to their takeoff point.

The rocket’s core was due to land on a drone ship in the Atlantic, though as the stream ended the core had still not touched down.

It is not yet known whether it was able to successfully land on the boat.

SpaceX cherry Tesla headed to MarsSPACEX

SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy launched this car towards Mars

8.45pm – Lift off!

8.42pm – T-minus 3 minutes

The SpaceX Falcon Heavy is undergoing its final preparations for launch at 8.45pm GMT. 

The rocket is currently being fuelled ahead of liftoff.

8.27pm – ‘All systems are GO for launch’ – SpaceX stream is LIVE

With less than 20 minutes to go before liftoff the live feed from Florida has come to life.

Flight engineers say all systems on the Falcon Heavy are ready for launch.

Liftoff is still expected for 8.45pm GMT. 

You can watch the SpaceX launch here.

SpaceX live launch feedSPACEX

The SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch stream is live ahead of liftoff

8.15pm – Launch still scheduled for 8.45pm

There have been no further updates from SpaceX since its official Twitter account posted liftoff would take place in an hour.

The official SpaceX stream is running a countdown to launch and shows exactly 30 minutes left.

7.45pm – Launch in 60 minutes

SpaceX has just tweeted to announce the Falcon Heavy launch will take place in an hour.

The official Twitter account posted: “T-60 minutes until Falcon Heavy’s first test flight. 

“Launch webcast will go live about 20 minutes before liftoff.”

The launch time is still set for 8.45pm GMT (3.45pm EST), which is at the very end of the scheduled launch window.

6.54pm – SpaceX finally breaks its silence

We FINALLY have official confirmation from SpaceX that the launch is now scheduled for 8.45pm GMT (3.45pm EST local time).

But, in a tweet from the company, they say they will “continue to monitor the upper level wind shear.”

6.49pm – Beginning to lose faith

Reports coming from the launchpad now that there are delays until 8.45pm GMT (3.45pm local time).

However, SpaceX are going to continue to monitor the upper atmosphere winds, and will re-evaluate shortly.

6.33pm – Still nothing official from SpaceX

Everyone is holding their breath waiting for an official update from SpaceX but nothing seems to be coming.

Journalists at the scene say a 8.15pm GMT launch is now hoped for.

However, the offical launch window closes at 9pm GMT (4pm local time), so if it is to happen today, Elon Musk and co are cutting it thin.

6.16pm – Scott Kelly to the rescue

Former International Space Station astronaut Scott Kelly seems to give us to confirmation that we need.

He posts on Twitter that the launch has been delayed until 8.05pm GMT.

6.05pm – Delays confirmed… sort of

SpaceX tweeted that there are more delays and the launch will go ahead at 8.05pm GMT, but then quickly deleted the tweet.

Seems to be a bit of confusion as to what is going on, and people are now really beginning to fear that it will not happen today.

5.57pm – Even further delays?

Although there is still no official word from SpaceX or Elon Musk, reporters at the launch are claiming that there have been even further delays.

People at the scene state that the launch time will now be 8.05pm GMT (3.05pm local time).

5.42pm – High winds

With an hour and 20 minute delay on the cars, a bit of anxiety is beginning to seep in that the launch might not happen at all today.

However, one Twitter account is happy with the upper lever winds having a say.

5.19pm – Further delays

Reports are coming in that there are now further delays to the launch.

The original time was 6.30pm GMT (1.30pm local time), but that was moved to 7.20pm GMT due to winds in the upper atmosphere.

Ere Kelly of Florida Today says on Twitter that the launch time will now be after 7.50pm GMT.

5.11pm – Update

An update on the launch delay, Elon Musk says that wind speeds in the upper hour are “currently 20% above max allowable load”.

As a result SpaceX will delay the launch of the Falcon Heavy for an hour to “allow winds to diminish”.

Conditions need to be as close to perfect as possible for the launch to go ahead.

5.01pm – Launch delay

The official launch time has now been pushed back by almost an hour until 19.20 (14.20 local time).

High winds are the reason behind the3 delay but SpaceX remain optimistic that it will go ahead.

4.50pm – Morning, Mr Musk

Elon Musk is certainly getting excited about the impending launch, and rightly so.

The latest tween from the South African-born billionaire shows the projected flight path.

4.39pm – All systems go

As mentioned earlier, the weather will not be responsible if the test flight fails.

SpaceX has just confirmed that “all systems remain go for today’s test flight of Falcon Heavy”

The company says: “Weather is 90% favorable for today’s two-and-a-half hour launch window, which opens at 1:30 p.m. EST, or 18:30 UTC.”

4.31pm – What’s the time?

Here are all of the various launch times around the globe courtesy of NASA scientist Jason Major.

No matter where you are in the world, if you have access to the internet, you will not want to miss this historic test flight either here at or on the SpaceX website.

Either it will be a success or, as Mr Musk put it, it will be an amazing fireworks display.

4.14pm – Elon Musk breaks his silence

As we ebb closer to lift off for the test flight – and it is important to remember that this is just a test flight so chances of failure are high – Elon Musk has sent out his first tweet of the day.

Included in his tweet is a lovely video about what SpaceX hopes will happen during the launch of the Falcon Heavy.

4.07pm – Time is ticking

Less than two and a half hours until the Falcon Heavy is scheduled to launch and SpaceX say that two of the rockets have been used before.

The B1023 were used on Thaicom 8, and B1025 on CRS-9, both of which were fired up in 2016.

3.57pm – Stats

Here are some interesting stats ahead of todays launch.

The information comes courtesy of Michael Baylor, a writer for NASA Space Flight.

3.47pm – There’s a Buzz around the launch

One of the original conquerers of space has sent his well wishes to Elon Musk, who is surely the future of space travel.

Buzz Aldrin, who was part of the Apollo 11 mission which saw the first humans step on the moon in 1969, is at the Kennedy Space Center and has tweeted his viewing from the Sunshine State, which is living up to its name.

3.21pm – NASA who?

Not letting SpaceX take all the credit, NASA is looking to get in on the act by tooting its own horn.

Although fairly, you must say.

The Kennedy Space Center is “continuing to grow as the nation’s premier multi-user spaceport”, according to the space agency in a Tweet.

2.51pm – History in the making

A lot of people in Florida are hoping to watch the launch of the Falcon Heavy from the Kennedy Space Center.

With a little less than four hours remaining until lift off, there are apparently cars queuing for miles, hoping to get a seat at the launchpad in Florida.

Jeff Foust, senior writer for Space News, just tweeted: “For those going to the KSC Visitor Center: there’s a backup of a few miles on the main road leading there in the right lane. Be prepared to wait in traffic for a while.”

2.40pm – Step towards conquering the solar system?

Famed physicist Brian Cox says that, if all goes to plan with the launch, this could be humanity’s biggest step towards creating an interplanetary species.

Dr Cox wrote on Twitter: “If all this works and all three pieces of the Falcon Heavy return to base it will be the coolest thing – and a significant step on the road to creating a spacefaring civilisation. 

“Even if it doesn’t work this time we’ll learn a great deal. Good luck @SpaceX!”

2.33pm – 50/50 chance

Elon Musk says that there is just a 50/50 chance of the launch being a success, but that might not be so reassuring to future space travellers.

The SpaceX website says: “Falcon Heavy was designed from the outset to carry humans into space and restores the possibility of flying missions with crew to the Moon or Mars.”

With that in mind, it might be fair to say that all budding astronauts are hoping for the rocket to succeed. 

2.03pm – Billionaire’s club

Even SpaceX’s rivals have been wishing the company well ahead of the impending launch.

Fellow billionaire Jeff Bezos, owner of Amazon and Blue Origin – which attempting to get to the moon – wished Elon Musk and SpaceX well on social media.

The serial entrepreneur tweeted yesterday: “Best of luck @SpaceX with the Falcon Heavy launch tomorrow – hoping for a beautiful, nominal flight!”

1.54pm – Weather looking good for launch

The weather could almost be described as perfect for a launch over the Kennedy Space Center, in Florida, right now.

The temperature there is a pleasant 18 degrees celsius, and with wind speeds of just 4 miles per hour, the weather cannot be blamed if something goes wrong during lift off.

Wind speeds might pick up to around 7 miles per hour throughout the day, but for a rocket which has so much thrust, this will not be a problem.

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