Skip to main content

Watch SpaceX Attempt a Triple Rocket Landing During Falcon Heavy Launch Today!

Launch Update: SpaceX's second Falcon Heavy rocket has successfully launched the Arabsat-6A satellite and landed all three of its first stage boosters. Read our full story here.

This story was updated April 11 at 2:20 p.m. EDT. 

SpaceX will attempt to pull off the world's first successful triple rocket landing during the company's first commercial Falcon Heavy flight mission today (April 11), and you can watch it all live online. 

The Falcon Heavy megarocket, the most powerful booster currently in use, is set to launch the Arabsat-6A communications satellite into orbit from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 6:35 p.m. EDT (2235 GMT). The company postponed a Wednesday launch try due to unacceptable atmospheric wind shear conditions

After liftoff, the huge rocket's two side boosters and central core stage are expected to return to Earth for the triple landing. 

"Following booster separation, Falcon Heavy's two side boosters will attempt to land at SpaceX's Landing Zones 1 and 2 (LZ-1 and LZ-2) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida," SpaceX wrote in a mission description. "Falcon Heavy's center core will attempt to land on the 'Of Course I Still Love You' droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean."

You can watch the Falcon Heavy launch live here and on Space.com's homepage, courtesy of SpaceX, beginning about 20 minutes before liftoff. You can also watch the launch directly from SpaceX's webcast page

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

Today's launch will mark SpaceX's second flight of a Falcon Heavy, which made a successful debut test flight in February 2018. On that flight, the Falcon Heavy launched a red Tesla Roadster owned by SpaceX founder Elon Musk and stuck two of its three first-stage booster landings. The center core missed its drone ship landing when two of three engines ran out of igniter fluid. (At the time, Musk said a "fix is pretty obvious" to address the issue.)

SpaceX is hoping for a better luck with the triple landing when Falcon Heavy launches the hefty 13,200-lb. (6,000 kilograms) Arabsat-6A for the Saudi Arabian satellite communications company Arabsat. 

"Arabsat-6A is a high-capacity telecommunications satellite that will deliver television, radio, Internet and mobile communications to customers in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe," SpaceX representatives wrote in a mission description. "Built on Lockheed Martin's enhanced LM 2100 platform, Arabsat-6A includes several innovations that provide advanced Ka spot beam communications services and Ku and Ka-band coverages in addition to other frequency bands."

While this mission is the second flight of a Falcon Heavy, it is the first to use SpaceX's upgraded Block 5 Falcon 9 rocket boosters, which give it a 10% boost in maximum thrust over its predecessor, Musk has said. 

Editor's note: This story has been updated with SpaceX's new launch time for the Falcon Heavy Arabsat-6A launch, including its Wednesday launch delay.

Email Tariq Malik at tmalik@space.com or follow him @tariqjmalik. Follow us @Spacedotcom and Facebook. 

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community@space.com.