• SpaceX launches Falcon Heavy rocket

    By: James Tutten , Melonie Holt , Q McCray , Kelly Healey

    Updated:

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - SpaceX launched its Falcon Heavy rocket Thursday evening from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station after the launch was scrubbed Wednesday due to upper-level winds. 

    After being pushed back several times since Sunday, the launch took off just before 6:30 p.m.

    Thousands of spectators were at Jetty Park Wednesday when the launch was scrubbed, but said Thursday's launch was worth the wait.

    "It was awesome," said Cheryl Boudreaux who is visiting from Louisiana. "I loved it and it was better than what I thought."


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    The launch marked only the second time the Falcon Heaby has been launched.

    The mission made history because it carried a payload of a satellite that'll provide television, radio, mobile phone services and internet to the middle east, Africa and Europe.

    History was also made as all three boosters landed safely on earth. 

    SpaceX officials said Central Florida residents might hear a sonic boom soon after the scheduled launch.

    The aerospace company said people in Brevard, Volusia, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Indian River counties could hear one or more sonic booms during the landing attempt of two first-stage boosters at Landing Zones 1 and 2 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

    SpaceX officials said residents in Brevard County will most likely hear one or more sonic booms, which will sound like a brief, thunder-like sound. 

    A third booster will attempt to land on SpaceX’s drone ship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

    The rocket launch company has previously landed 12 first-stage boosters on land, including the two boosters that landed nearly simultaneously during the first launch of Falcon Heavy for its demonstration mission in February 2018.

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    This launch marks the first commercial launch for Falcon Heavy as the company send a Saudi Arabian communications satellite, Arabsat-6A, into orbit.

    “This is 50 to 60 tons to orbit for a fixed price of $90 million. That's a real game-changer,” said Dale Ketcham, with Space Florida. “The first one was for show, classic Elon, we're going to put a red Tesla in orbit around Mars. But that was for show. This one is for business, which is also classic Elon.”

    Titusville police officers are preparing for a lot of pedestrian traffic and heavy congestion, especially around State Road 406 and U.S. 1.  

    “Now that everyone knows how awesome it is, the most powerful rocket in the world, and the twin boosters coming back just north of the port, I think that's going to draw more people,” Ketcham said.

    There will be additional details focusing on security and traffic control, police said.  

    The same is true around Port Canaveral where no parking will be allowed on State Road 401 or the State Road 528 median.


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