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SpaceX Falcon Heavy to launch this afternoon - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

SpaceX Falcon Heavy to launch this afternoon

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - The Latest on SpaceX rocket launch (all times local):

1 p.m.

SpaceX's big new rocket is ready to blast off on its first test flight. But high wind will keep it on the launch pad just a little longer.

Potentially dangerous gusts in the upper atmosphere forced the company to delay Tuesday's launch of the Falcon Heavy by at least 1 ½ hours. Liftoff is now scheduled for sometime after 3 p.m. from Florida's Kennedy Space Center. That leaves less than an hour remaining in Tuesday's launch window. Otherwise, the test flight will slip to Wednesday.

At liftoff, the Heavy will become the world's most powerful rocket in use today.

Thousands have gathered at the space center, and surrounding beaches and parks, to watch the Heavy soar with a sports car as cargo.

6:46 a.m.

It's almost showtime for SpaceX's big new rocket with a cherry-red sports car on top.

The Falcon Heavy rocket is poised to blast off Tuesday afternoon from Florida's Kennedy Space Center.

It's the long-awaited first test flight for the rocket. Once it soars, it will become the world's most powerful rocket in use today. The Heavy is equipped with three boosters and 27 engines designed to provide about 5 million pounds of thrust.

SpaceX chief Elon Musk has his Tesla Roadster on board. Musk - who also heads up the Tesla electric carmaker - says he wanted to add some dramatic flair. Usually there are things like steel or concrete slabs or mundane experiments on test flights. SpaceX is targeting a long, oval orbit around the sun for the car.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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