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A SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch will bring double sonic booms

SpaceX's first Falcon Heavy rocket stands ready for its demonstration mission from Kennedy Space Center back in 2017.
SpaceX's first Falcon Heavy rocket stands ready for its demonstration mission from Kennedy Space Center back in 2017.

SpaceX’s triple-booster Falcon Heavy rocket is now scheduled for a Sunday evening launch from Kennedy Space Center which will bring a double sonic boom shortly after liftoff.

SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket uses 27 engines on three boosters to launch payloads into space.

This mission is carrying multiple payloads for the Space Force, including a communication satellite and a handful of experimental payloads.

The USSF 67 mission is carrying the Space Force's second Continuous Broadcast Augmenting SATCOM, or CBAS 2, communications satellite and the Long Duration Propulsive ESPA 3A, or LDPE 3A, rideshare satellite — carrying multiple experimental payloads into orbit

A few minutes after launch, the two side boosters of the rocket will fly back to Cape Canaveral and land vertically, which will bring double sonic booms to Central Florida. Depending on weather conditions, the booms could be heard across Central Florida.

Saturdays launch was scrubbed and SpaceX is now targeting Sunday at 5:56 p.m. ET. Weather so far remains favorable for launch. The 45th Space Wing is forecasting 90% chance of good weather, with cloud cover the primary concern on launch day.

This will be the 5th flight of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket. It's first flight in 2018 carried SpaceX founder Elon Musk's Tesla electric car into space, along with a mannequin in a SpaceX spacesuit named "Starman." Since then, the rocket has launched a commercial payload and missions for the Department of Defense. The vehicle will also launch NASA missions as early as October 2023.

Updated: January 15, 2023 at 9:11 AM EST
Story updated to note the scrubbed launch attempt and add the new launch window information.
Brendan Byrne is Central Florida Public Media's Assistant News Director, managing the day-to-day operations of the newsroom, editing daily news stories, and managing the organization's internship program. Byrne also hosts Central Florida Public Media's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration, and the weekly news roundup podcast "The Wrap."