Image: Joe Raedle / Staff ((Getty))
On Monday evening SpaceX will attempt the Falcon Heavy’s “most difficult launch ever,” its first nighttime launch for the vessel which will be ferrying multiple satellites into orbit.
Also on board will be the Lightsail 2, a crowd-funded solar-sail test mission that’s currently been promoted by Bill Nye. The spacecraft will be the first to be propelled solely by sunlight. The Japanese spacecraft Ikaros previously used a solar sail, but Lightsail will be the first to run exclusively on solar technology. I’ll let Bill explain it:
Additionally, the Falcon Heavy will also be bringing a Deep Space Atomic Clock into the orbit which can potentially be used to help future spacecraft navigate to destinations far away.
If you want to watch all the action, you’ll need to stay up late. The Falcon Heavy’s launch is expected to take place at 11:30pm ET/8:30pm PT. A livestream of the event will be on NASA’s website as well as it’s You Tube channel (embedded below).
If you miss it, you’ll also be able to catch a recording of the event on NASA’s YouTube channel later in the week.