A new photo from SpaceX CEO Elon Musk shows the company's new Falcon Heavy rocket on the launchpad as well as its Falcon 9, which successfully launched the GovSat-1 satellite today (Jan. 31). The Falcon Heavy is slated to launch Tuesday (Feb. 6).
GovSat-1 is a joint venture of the Luxembourg government and the satellite-operating company SES, and it will provide secure communications services. SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket is launching from Cape Canaveral's Space Launch Complex 40, within easy viewing distance of Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39A, where the Falcon Heavy will undergo its first test flight. Launch Complex 39A is a historic launchpad that was used for most Apollo missions as well as space shuttle missions before being leased and renovated for SpaceX's use.
Besides Pads 39A and 40, SpaceX also launches out of California's Vandenberg Air Force Base Space Launch Complex 4, and the company broke ground on a private spaceport in Texas in 2014.
SpaceX successfully test-fired the Falcon Heavy's 27 first-stage engines — divided among three Falcon 9 first stages — on Jan. 24, and on Tuesday, it is set to carry Musk's Tesla car into orbit around the sun. (This test will demonstrate that the rocket, which will be the most powerful in operation in the world, would be able to put payloads into an orbit intersecting Mars.)
Editor's note: This story, originally posted at 3:25 p.m. EST, has been updated to reflect the successful launch of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket carrying the GovSat-1 satellite at 4:25 p.m. EST.
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