SpaceX Set to Launch Defense Department Space Experiments On Board Florida Falcon Heavy

Home / Articles / External Non-Government


July 2, 2019 | Originally published by Date Line: July 2 on

A SpaceX Falcon Heavy spacecraft surged into space late Monday night, June 24, carrying 24 satellites on a mission considered among the Hawthorne-based rocket builder’s most challenging missions yet.

Lift-off occurred at 11:30 p.m. (2:30 a.m. Eastern time Tuesday) from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center.

The mission, called STP-2, is led by the U.S. Air Force Space Command’s Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo, California, partnering with NASA and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Association.

The launch marks the first-ever U.S. Department of Defense mission on board a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket, a major step for the company created and helmed by Elon Musk.

The Falcon Heavy is SpaceX’s largest propulsion system that amounts to three Falcon 9 boosters strapped together, with a total of 27 Merlin engines, creating the equivalent amount of thrust to 18 commercial 747 aircraft.