SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch set for 6:36 p.m. EDT

SpaceX readies its first Block 5 Falcon Heavy for flight inside the horizontal integration hangar just outside Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39A

This time SpaceX will be carrying a payload for Saudi Arabia's Arabsat, a satellite services provider.

Forecasters with the U.S. Air Force 45th Space Wing are predicting an 80 percent chance of good launch conditions for the almost two-hour window.

Launch weather officials are monitoring upper-level winds that could push the Falcon Heavy liftoff to the end of the launch window.

A launch on a Falcon Heavy carries a price tag of $90 million, compared to competitor United Launch Alliance's Delta IV Heavy, which costs more than $300 million.

A year after launching a Tesla roadster into deep space, a second SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket was hauled to the pad and erected Wednesday, setting the stage for an early evening launch to boost a heavyweight Saudi communications satellite into orbit. The Roadster and its dummy space suited pilot named "Starman" are now headed for the asteroid belt. Eastern. A backup launch window will then open on Thursday, April 11 at 6:35 p.m. Even more watched a stream online.

The Block 5 booster is the latest-generation Falcon 9, meant to be reused numerous times with minimal refurbishment. Wednesday's launch marks the first time a Block 5 booster will be used for the big rocket.

About seven minutes after launch, the Elon Musk-led company will attempt to land two of the vehicles' boosters on pads on the Cape. The center core missed its drone ship landing when two of three engines ran out of igniter fluid. SpaceX is expected to attempt to land all three this week.

According to SpaceFlight Now, Arabsat 6A will provide Ku-band and Ka-band communications coverage over the Middle East and North Africa regions, as well as a footprint in South Africa.

Lockheed Martin built the satellite, along with a second one, for Arabsat as part of a batch of contracts worth $650 million. That will be the first Falcon Heavy flight to re-use boosters.

"Now targeting Falcon Heavy launch of Arabsat-6A on Wednesday, April 10 - weather forecast improves to 80% favorable", SpaceX tweeted in an update on 9 April. The last launch was about a year ago.

In a departure from past designs, the satellite features thin, flexible solar arrays instead of the rigid panels used on other spacecraft.

The potential market should only increase as Falcon Heavy demonstrates more success.

The version of the Falcon Heavy that will fly this week will not be exactly the same as the previous mission: The Falcon Heavy's rocket cores will be more powerful, making use of upgrades to SpaceX's smaller workhorse rocket, the Falcon 9.

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