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Hold the booms. SpaceX scrubs Falcon Heavy launch, will try again Friday

 SpaceX Falcon Heavy Jupiter 3 mission
Brandon Moser
SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket at the pad ahead of a launch attempt Wednesday. The heavy-lift vehicle is carrying the Jupiter 3 satellite into orbit.

With about one minute left in the countdown, mission managers aborted the Wednesday night launch attempt of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket from Kennedy Space Center. The 27-engine rocket is launching the EchoStar Jupiter 3 broadband satellite into orbit.

The countdown was stopped "due to a violation of abort criteria," SpaceX said on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. "Vehicle and payload are in good health."

SpaceX said it is working towards another launch attempt Friday.

Falcon Heavy is made up of three rocket boosters strapped together. The two side boosters will return to Cape Canaveral and land vertically-- their arrival marked by sonic booms that may be heard across Central Florida.

That will happen about eight minutes after launch and those sonic booms could be heard along the Space Coast and throughout Central Florida, depending on weather conditions. The sonic booms are harmless, but can certainly startle residents — and pets — as the boosters make their way back to land.

The abort will likely affect SpaceX's and NASA's Crew-7 mission, which will launch from the same pad. That mission is sending four people to the International Space Station in SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule. NASA managers said SpaceX needs time to transition pad LC-39A from the Falcon Heavy launch to Crew-7 which is targeting a launch no earlier than August 17.

Once launched, this will be SpaceX's seventh Falcon Heavy mission.

Updated: July 28, 2023 at 8:27 AM EDT
This story was updated after SpaceX announced a new launch attempt Friday. Previously, the company was working towards a launch of Falcon Heavy Thursday.
Brendan Byrne is WMFE's Assistant News Director, managing the day-to-day operations of the WMFE newsroom, editing daily news stories, and managing WMFE's internship program.

Byrne also hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration.
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