A CNBC report published on Friday, March 15 revealed that SpaceX insiders had confirmed an expected early April launch date for the second Falcon Heavy flight. The article, written by Markets and Space correspondent Michael Sheetz referenced anonymous sources “familiar with the plans”.
The mission (designated Arabsat 6A) will launch and deploy a large communications satellite for Arabsat, a Saudi communications provider. The satellite has been described by the primary contractor, Lockheed Martin as one of “the most advanced commercial communications satellites we’ve ever built.” Once launched, the satellite will provide television, internet, telephone and secure communications to Africa, the Middle East, and Europe.
The maiden Falcon Heavy was launched from Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center on February 6, 2018. Despite SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk expressing uncharacteristic doubt at the potential for successful, the rocket’s first flight proceed almost flawlessly. As the mission was a test flight, the rocket carried and deployed a dummy payload, an early Tesla Roadster.
Since its maiden flight, SpaceX has secured a number of lucrative contracts for launches aboard the heavy-lift rocket. Currently, there are an additional eight missions planned to be launched aboard the Falcon Heavy including two Air Force satellites and a classified DoD payload. SpaceX hopes to launch at least two Falcon Heavy missions a year.