Updated Apr 10, 2019

SpaceX postponed key Falcon Heavy launch to Thursday

Falcon Heavy rocket launches from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Feb. 6, 2018. Image: SpaceX

SpaceX cancelled the launch of its powerful Falcon Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral on Wednesday evening due to strong upper level winds.

Driving the news: The next chance for launch is Thursday, depending on weather.

Why it matters: The launch will be the first time this rocket, which is the most powerful operational rocket on the market right now, will be used to launch a payload for a customer. SpaceX tested the rocket last February, along with simultaneous booster landings in Florida, to carry a red Tesla roadster into deep space.

Details: Falcon Heavy’s 27 Merlin engines generate more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff, SpaceX said on Wednesday.

  • The rocket is essentially the combination of 3 Falcon 9 rocket cores.
  • It can loft more than 140,000 pounds of cargo into low Earth orbit, beating the capabilities of the United Launch Alliance's Delta IV Heavy by about 77,000 pounds.
  • The cargo for the launch is known as Arabsat-6A, which is a communications satellite for Saudi Arabia.

Between the lines: When the Falcon Heavy debuted, it lacked a long list of launch customers, unlike the Falcon 9, which has become a common sight in the skies around Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 5,495,061 — Total deaths: 346,232 — Total recoveries — 2,231,738Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 1,662,302 — Total deaths: 98,220 — Total recoveries: 379,157 — Total tested: 14,604,942Map.
  3. World: Italy reports lowest number of new cases since February — Ireland reports no new coronavirus deaths on Monday for the first time since March 21 — WHO suspends trial of hydroxychloroquine over safety concerns.
  4. 2020: Trump threatens to move Republican convention from North Carolina — Joe Biden makes first public appearance in two months.
  5. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks over Memorial Day.
  6. Economy: New York stock exchange to reopen its floor on Tuesday — White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Charities refocus their efforts to fill gaps left by government.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 30 mins ago - Politics & Policy

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Countries where novel coronavirus cases are falling may be hit with a "second peak" if they relax restrictions too soon, World Health Organization emergencies chief Mike Ryan warned during a briefing Monday. "We're still very much in a phase where the disease is actually on the way up," he added.

By the numbers: Brazil on Monday recorded for the first time more deaths from the novel coronavirus in a single day than the United States, Reuters notes. Brazil reported 807 deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, compared to 620 in the U.S. for the same period.

Palantir CEO reflects on work with ICE

Palantir CEO Alex Karp told "Axios on HBO" that there have "absolutely" been moments he wished the company hadn't taken a contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

  • "Did I suffer? ... I've had some of my favorite employees leave," Karp told "Axios on HBO."