Space X’s powerful rocket Falcon Heavy did not keep up to its early July launch date and instead has delayed it to 24 June citing final integration operations. According to Lt. Col. Ryan Rose chief of Small Launch and Targets Division the team is finishing up final integration and preparation for successful launch for which they need time till 24 June.
The mission titled STP-2 scheduled for 22 June will lift off from Pad 39A of NASA’s Florida based Kennedy Space Center and will take four hours to launch. The US military has already confirmed its plan to launch AEHF-5 satellite on 27 June from Air Force Station at Cape Canaveral that is very close to KSC. So if STP-2 is not able to fly out on scheduled date it will be delayed further and can take off only after the AEHF-5 launches successfully.
Mission director Walter Lauderdale affirmed that during that particular time frame the range is quite crowded. The STP-2 is monitored by Air Force which is scheduled to launch two dozen satellites along with an atomic clock of NASA and a solar-sailing demonstrator called LightSail 2. The Falcon Heavy is a big rocket containing three first stages of workhorse rocket Falcon 9 along with a stage 2 piece and payloads that are part of its central booster.
While all the first three stages are made to be reusable, the STP-2 also has two side boosters that were modified from Falcon Heavy’s last flight which placed ArabSat6A into orbit. These two boosters managed to showcase their landing abilities in April this year at Cape Canaveral station while its central core touched down at Space X’s drone ship became a victim During 2018 Falcon Heavy had undertaken a demonstration flight which launched CEO Elon Musk’s red Tesla Roadster and its mannequin into an orbit around the sun.