This evening, SpaceX will attempt a record-breaking Falcon Heavy launch as it attempts to lift the heaviest payload ever destined for geostationary orbit. The rocket will launch from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It’s currently scheduled for 8:04 p.m. ET on Thursday, July 27.
The payload is a massive satellite known as EchoStar 24 or Jupiter 3. Jupiter 3 is the heaviest geostationary satellite ever created so far, and it will first be sent to geostationary transfer orbit before moving to its final destination at 22,300 miles above the Earth. The launch will be live-streamed on the SpaceX website as well as the SpaceX YouTube channel.
The rocket was originally slated to launch on Wednesday, July 26, but it was pushed back to Thursday, July 27 at the last moment. You can watch it live below:
One of the most significant aspects of this particular launch is the satellite’s bulk. It has a total payload mass of 9.2 metric tons, making it the heaviest geostationary satellite that we have ever launched, according to Hughes Network Systems, which is behind the project. Maxar is behind the construction of Jupiter 3, which will feature a brand-new architecture based on multiple advancements.
The device is a new ultra-high-density satellite that will also double the capacity of the Hughes Jupiter fleet, which will support in-flight Wi-Fi, new maritime connections, backhaul Mobile Network Operators, and even community wireless internet solutions.
The launch will be just as momentous as what the satellite hopes to accomplish, too, because of how large it is and how it will showcase the power of the Falcon Heavy, which is one of SpaceX’s most powerful rockets. Once fully deployed, the satellite will have a wingspan of 10 stories and will feature 14 solar panels to help power it.