Greetings from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, where The Planetary Society is onsite for tonight’s launch of LightSail 2! This afternoon we got an up-close look at the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket that will carry 24 spacecraft to orbit as part of the U.S. Air Force’s STP-2 mission. Liftoff is set for 23:30 EDT (03:30 UTC), the start of a 4-hour launch window. If for some reason the launch is scrubbed, an identical window is available tomorrow.
The rocket’s two side boosters still bear their scorch marks from April’s Arabsat-6A mission, during which both boosters successfully flew back to Cape Canaveral for upright landings. The center core is pearly white, having never flown.
You can watch tonight’s launch live on our homepage at planetary.org. SpaceX typically starts their web broadcast about 20 minutes prior to liftoff. For more information, see our LightSail 2 mission page and our What to Expect When LightSail 2 Launches into Space article.
Go Falcon Heavy! Go Prox-1! Go LightSail 2!