SpaceX’s powerful Falcon Heavy rocket will fly again before the end of the year, if all goes according to plan.
You can watch the action here at Space.com, courtesy of SpaceX, when the time comes.
SpaceX had originally planned to launch the robotic X-37B on Dec. 11. But about 30 minutes before the scheduled liftoff time that day, the company called things off, citing an issue with ground equipment. The resulting delay will now extend for 17 days, if the Heavy flies on Dec. 28 as currently planned.
The coming launch will be the seventh overall for the 29-foot-long (8.8 meters) X-37B, which military officials say is primarily an orbital testbed for new space tech.
It’s unclear how long the X-37B mission will last; most details of the space plane’s flights, including the identity and purpose of most of its payloads, are classified. But it’s safe to assume the flight will be lengthy. Each X-37B mission to date has been longer than its predecessors, and the most recent one stayed aloft for 908 days before coming home in November 2022.
The Falcon Heavy has launched eight times to date, including four times in 2023 already.