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Falcon Heavy launch bringing late-night sonic booms to Space Coast

 Image of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket
X, formerly Twitter
SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket awaits launch in a hanger at Kennedy Space Center

SpaceX is planning to launch its Falcon Heavy rocket once again from Kennedy Space Center Thursday night. The 27-engine rocket will launch the EchoStar Jupiter 3 broadband satellite into orbit.

The launch is scheudled for 11:04 p.m. ET and weather is favorable.

Falcon Heavy is made up of three rocket boosters strapped together. The two side boosters will return to Cape Canaveral and land vertically -- their arrival marked by sonic booms that may be heard across central Florida.

That will happen about eight minutes after launch and those sonic booms could be heard along the Space Coast and throughout Central Florida, depending on weather conditions. The sonic booms are harmless, but can certainly startle residents — and pets — as the boosters make their way back to land.

SpaceX recovers and recycles rocket boosters and reuses them for future launches, lowering the cost of access to space.

This will be the seventh launch of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket which, for a time, was the world’s most powerful operating rocket. That title has now been claimed by NASA’s moon rocket, SLS.

After launching this Falcon Heavy mission, teams at SpaceX will begin transitioning the launch pad at LC-39A for NASA's Crew-7 mission which will transport a crew of four to the International Space Station. That mission is targeting a launch August 17.

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."
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