Why the third launch of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket has the highest stakes yet

The third flight of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy is set for this evening, and this launch is perhaps the most important one yet for the powerful rocket. The Falcon Heavy will be flying a mission for the Air Force known as STP-2 that’s ultimately meant to certify the vehicle as capable of launching future national security missions. If all goes well, the launch could help solidify the Falcon Heavy as a dependable rocket for the Department of Defense and potentially position SpaceX as a go-to launch provider for the military for most of the next decade.

To evaluate the prowess of the rocket, the Air Force has tasked the Falcon Heavy with launching 24 satellites into space at once. The various spacecraft — hailing from NASA, the Air Force, the…

Continue reading…

from The Verge – All Posts http://bit.ly/2YaeqR4