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SpaceX Falcon Heavy’s night launch pushed to no earlier than June 24: report

The Department of Defense Space Test Program-2 (STP-2) mission, managed by the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC), will deliver 23 satellites to space on the DoD's first ever SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch vehicle.

The next launch of the powerful SpaceX Falcon Heavy will still be at night, but has been pushed a couple of days past what was originally planned.

According to a report on SpaceFlightNow.com, the Air Force is aiming for a June 24 launch with a four-hour launch window that opens at 11:30 p.m. It had originally targeted June 22.

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This will be the third launch of the Falcon Heavy following 2018′s test launch that sent SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s Tesla into deep space and this past April’s commercial launch of the Arabsat-6A communication satellite.

Once again, the rocket will blast off from Kennedy Space Center’s pad 39A.

Dubbed Space Test Program-2 or STP-2 for the Department of Defense, the mission will deliver 24 satellites among three different orbits. It’s managed by the Air Force.

The launch, deployment and other maneuvers will take six hours and involve four upper stage burns.

The two side boosters used in the Arabsat launch will be used again for this launch. The launch is a test run for the Falcon Heavy for the Air Force, in efforts by SpaceX to get its heavy lift rocket certification for future national security missions.

The rocket, just shy of 230 feet tall has been the tallest rocket and most powerful to launch from Kennedy Space Center since the Saturn V rockets last used in the Apollo space program in 1973. It consists of three boosters instead of one, and fires all of its 27 engines simultaneously producing more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff.

The 24 satellites come from a variety of agencies including the NOAA, NASA, Department of Defense research laboratories and university research projects.

Read more at SpaceFlightNow.com.

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