Falcon Heavy Launch 2019: Everything You Need to Know About SpaceX's Next Rocket Launch

This weekend, SpaceX's Falcon Heavy—the most powerful rocket currently in operation—is scheduled to launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, in what will be its first commercial mission.

At present, the launch window is set for 6:36 p.m. through 8:35 p.m. EDT on April 7, according to Port Canaveral officials.

The rocket will be carrying the Arabsat-6A communications satellite—built by Lockheed Martin—which will provide television, internet and mobile phone services to the Middle East, Africa and Europe.

In a statement, Lisa Callahan, vice president and general manager of Commercial Civil Space for Lockheed, described Arabsat-6A as one of the "most advanced commercial communications satellites we've ever built," noting several innovations, including solar arrays that are 30 percent lighter and 50 percent more powerful, upgraded flight software and more efficient propulsion capabilities resulting in longer manoeuvre life."

Arabsat is a communications satellite operator—based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia—that carries more than 500 television channels and 200 radio stations, which are accessible in more than 80 countries.

If all goes to plan, the launch on Sunday will be just the second for the Falcon Heavy after its successful maiden flight in February 2018, during which the rocket famously carried a Tesla Roadster belonging to SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk into space.

The launch of the Arabsat-6A was initially scheduled for the second half of 2018. But it faced delays and was pushed back to this year.

Florida Today reported that thousands of people could attend the launch on Sunday, potentially causing traffic and parking issues along the Space Coast.

It is estimated that more than 100,000 people flocked to Brevard County—in which the Kennedy Space Center is located—for the Falcon Heavy's first launch in February 2018.

For those who are interested in viewing the launch from the Space Center complex, it is still possible to buy a ticket that will allow you to witness the event from within a few miles of the launch pad.

People traveling in the area on Sunday should note that certain roads will be closed and some may be restricted to ticket holders only, Florida Today reported.

According to SpaceX, Falcon Heavy is "the most powerful operational rocked in the world by a factor of two."

The company says the partially reusable rocket has the ability to lift nearly 64 metric tons (141,000 pounds) into orbit, which is more than twice what its nearest competitor—the Delta IV Heavy—is capable of. And with each launch of the Falcon costing between $90 and $150 million, it is also cheaper to operate.

The Falcon is the second most powerful rocket in history, coming second only to the Saturn V rocket—which was used during NASA's Apollo moon program and last flew in 1973.

Falcon Heavy, SpaceX
The SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket lifts off from launch pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center on February 6, 2018 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Falcon Heavy Launch 2019: Everything You Need to Know About SpaceX's Next Rocket Launch | Tech & Science