SpaceX Delays 1st Commercial Launch of Falcon Heavy Rocket to Wednesday

The SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket that will launch the Saudi Arabian satellite Arabsat 6A is seen in its hangar near NASA's Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39A in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Liftoff is set for April 10, 2019.
(Image credit: SpaceX)

SpaceX has postponed the launch of its first commercial Falcon Heavy mission from NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida to no earlier than Wednesday (April 10). 

"Now targeting Falcon Heavy launch of Arabsat-6A on Wednesday, April 10 – weather forecast improves to 80% favorable," SpaceX representatives wrote in a Twitter update today (April 9). Liftoff is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. EDT (2235 GMT) from NASA's historic Pad 39A at KSC. The launch window extends for just under 2 hours. 

SpaceX had been targeting a launch on Tuesday (April 9) at 6:36 p.m. EDT (2236 GMT). The weather forecast for that target was dismal, with just a 30% chance of good weather at launch time, according to 45th Weather Squadron based at the nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. 

Related: Watch SpaceX Assemble Its Falcon Heavy Rocket for Arabsat 6A

The upcoming launch will carry the  the 13,200-lb. (6,000 kilograms) communications satellite Arabsat 6A for the Saudi Arabian company Arabsat. It is the second flight of a Falcon Heavy rocket (SpaceX launched a test flight February 2018) and the first commercial mission for the new booster. 

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy is the most powerful rocket in use today. It consists of three first-stage boosters based on SpaceX's workhorse Falcon 9 rockets, all of which are designed to fly back to Earth and land for later reuse. 

During SpaceX's first Falcon Heavy flight last year, two of the boosters made a simultaneous landing on pads at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The core booster narrowly missed its own landing on a SpaceX drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean. 

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Tariq Malik

Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik.