Monday night's launch is also the first Falcon Heavy launch for the Department of Defense and the payloads include NASA's Space Environment Testbed experiment to study how to better protect satellites in space.
The mission marks the beginning of what is shaping up to be a busy summer for the Space Coast.
“We do have a nice busy time coming up through the holiday that will have the SpaceX launch, a ULA launch early Thursday morning and then the particularly exciting ascent abort test for the Orion crew capsule that will be early on the morning of July 2,” Ketcham said.
The Orion flight test will demonstrate whether the launch abort system can activate, steer the spacecraft, and carry future astronauts a safe distance if an emergency arises during its climb into orbit.
“There's going to be a lot of activity, a lot of tourism, a lot to watch. Hopefully it all works well, and that's what we're here for,” Ketcham said.