Watch SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket launch NASA's Psyche asteroid mission today

Update for 10:30 am ET: NASA's Psyche asteroid mission successfully launched into space atop a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket at 10:19 a.m. EDT on Oct. 13, lifting off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Read our wrap story here.

SpaceX's powerful Falcon Heavy rocket will send NASA's Psyche asteroid mission skyward today (Oct. 13), weather permitting, and you can watch the action live.

The Falcon Heavy is scheduled to launch the Psyche spacecraft today at 10:19 a.m. EDT (1419 GMT) from Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida. That assumes Mother Nature cooperates, which is certainly no guarantee on the stormy Space Coast; current forecasts predict just a 40% chance of weather good enough for launch. 

You can watch the action live here at, courtesy of NASA TV, beginning about 45 minutes before liftoff. 

Related: NASA's Psyche asteroid probe on track for October launch after 1-year delay

A SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket with the Psyche spacecraft onboard is seen at Launch Complex 39A as preparations continue for the Psyche mission on Oct. 11, 2023, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.  (Image credit: Josh Dinner)

If all goes according to plan, Falcon Heavy's two side boosters will come back to Earth for a landing at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, which is next door to KSC, about 8.25 minutes after liftoff. It will be the fourth launch and landing for each booster, according to a SpaceX mission description

The Falcon Heavy's central core booster is flying for the first and only time today. It will splash into the Atlantic Ocean when its launch work is done.

The Heavy's upper stage, which sits atop the central booster, will finish carrying Psyche to space and deploy it there about 62.5 minutes after launch. 

The probe will then begin its long deep-space journey to Psyche, a bizarre metallic asteroid that lies in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. 

Scientists think the space rock Psyche, which is about 173 miles (280 kilometers) wide, may be the exposed core of an ancient protoplanet — a type of object they've never seen up close before. Psyche will reach its space rock target in 2029, then study it from orbit for about two years thereafter. 

If bad weather or a technical issue scuttles today's launch attempt, SpaceX and NASA can try again soon: The mission has daily liftoff opportunities through Oct. 25.

The Falcon Heavy, the second-most powerful rocket in operation today, has flown seven times to date. The Psyche mission will be the rocket's first for NASA.

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Mike Wall
Senior Space Writer

Michael Wall is a Senior Space Writer with and joined the team in 2010. He primarily covers exoplanets, spaceflight and military space, but has been known to dabble in the space art beat. His book about the search for alien life, "Out There," was published on Nov. 13, 2018. Before becoming a science writer, Michael worked as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist. He has a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Michael on Twitter.

  • Speedle
    Just a point of fact. The Falcon Heavy is the most powerful launch vehicle in operation today, not the second most powerful. The Starship stack isn't flying yet, let alone be in "operation". Be more precise in your language please.