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I have embedded the live stream of Falcon Heavy launch below the fold. It does not go live until just before launch, which is now scheduled for 6;35 pm (Eastern).
The live stream is now live. I will post updates below, so refresh your screen to see them.
This is not a routine SpaceX launch, where we have become nonchalant about the company’s ability to vertically land a first stage. They admit getting the core stage back will be challenging. They also admit that this is essentially a countdown of three rockets, so they are going to be very conservative. If anything pops up during countdown, they will scrub and try another day.
They have launched.
The side boosters have successfully separated.
The center core stage has successfully separated.
Re-entry burns for the two side boosters has been completed.
Re-entry burn on the core stage has been completed.
Both side boosters have landed.
The payload is in orbit.
The core stage has landed successfully on the drone ship.
Though the satellite has not yet been deployed, the rest of this mission is almost certainly going to go as planned, as it is essentially identical to a normal Falcon 9 launch. Update: payload successfully deployed!
Getting all three stages back is a notable achievement. They intend to recycle the two side cores and use them on the very next Falcon Heavy launch in June. The core stage will likely be reused as well but when has not yet been announced.
The leaders in the 2019 launch race:
The U.S. leads the pack 7 to 4 in the national rankings.
In the heavy lift launch race, SpaceX is by far in the lead in successful launches:
0 SLS (NASA)
I should add that I am being generous to include China’s Long March 5 in this heavy lift list. It really doesn’t qualify, but it remains the only other near competitor.