SpaceX is preparing for the fifth attempt to launch the Falcon Heavy rocket

A triple-boost Falcon Heavy rocket on the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. SpaceX

After cleaning up four Falcon Heavy launch attempts earlier this month, SpaceX will spend the next few days preparing for a fifth attempt to send the rocket skyward.

Previous attempts by SpaceX in recent weeks to use a rocket to deploy an experimental space plane into orbit for the US Space Force have been disrupted for a number of reasons, including bad weather at the launch from Kennedy Space Center in Florida and an unspecified “side issue”. on the ground.

The current launch target is Thursday, December 28, although if the last four attempts are anything to go by, it is by no means certain that the Falcon Heavy will lift off on time. SpaceX engineers will indeed be keeping a close eye on the weather forecast, which currently indicates a lot of cloud cover with a chance of rain.

When the Falcon Heavy finally fires its engines and roars away from the launch pad, the rocket will make its ninth flight since its first in 2018.

SpaceX uses its trusty Falcon 9 rocket for most of its missions to deploy satellites into low Earth orbit, as well as flights to and from the International Space Station, so there is more interest in the Falcon Heavy, which contains three Falcons. 9 combined to create a more powerful vehicle.

At launch, the Falcon Heavy has about 5.5 million pounds of thrust, and its 27 engines generate the thrust of about eighteen 747 aircraft.

All that rocket power makes for quite a spectacle as it heads into orbit, with those watching the event return and upright landing from two of the three boosters shortly after launch.

The mission marks SpaceX’s first time deploying the Space Force’s X-37B spacecraft, which will head into orbit for its seventh mission since its first flight in 2010. The unmanned vehicle looks like a smaller version of the space shuttle and will conduct a series of tests in orbit , including flying in “new orbital modes, experimenting with technologies for future awareness of space regions, and investigating radiation effects on NASA-provided materials,” according to Space Force.

Digital Trends has all the information you need watch the live stream the Falcon Heavy launch, which will hopefully take place on Thursday.

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