CAPE CANAVERAL — It may already feel like summer in Central Florida, but things are about to heat up on the Space Coast.
- The Apollo moon landing turns 59
- Boeing's Starliner to take first flight test
- Get more space coverage
Here are the five big things you need to look out for this summer:
1. Falcon Heavy Flies at Night
For the first time, SpaceX will launch its Falcon Heavy rocket at night. Scheduled to launch next Monday, the company's most powerful rocket is packed with 24 science and technology experiments for the Department of Defense, NASA and NOAA.
One of the satellites for the U.S. Air Force will study the harsh radiation in Earth's orbit.
Look for all three boosters to land shortly after launch, lighting up the nighttime sky over the cape.
2. Orion Abort Test
NASA will conduct a test of its launch abort system for the Orion spacecraft on July 2.
Before Orion can launch humans to the moon, NASA has to prove it can successfully steer the spacecraft out of harm's way in case something happens during Orion's launch on the Space Launch System rocket.
3. Apollo 11 at 50
Next month marks 50 years since the Apollo 11 launch and moon landing.
The Space Coast Office of Tourism and the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex plan to celebrate, leading up to July 20, the anniversary of when Neil Armstrong made that giant leap for mankind.
"All the people that still live here, that worked on it, that worked at the Kennedy Space Center, whether they be a contractor, or whatever, it's their opportunity to say, 'Look what I did, look where we are today, and look where we're going,'" said Bonnie King, deputy director of the Space Coast Office of Tourism.
Remember those astronaut parades down A1A?
That is coming back, along with other events to mark the milestone. More info can be found here.
4. Good Bye Delta IV Medium
United Launch Alliance is retiring the Delta IV medium. For nearly two decades, ULA has used the single stick version of the rocket to carry critical payloads into space.
July 25, will be the 29th and final flight for the rocket in this configuration.
5. Starliner's First Flight
Boeing plans to launch the CST-100 Starliner on its first test flight in August.
The Starliner will be uncrewed during its first test launch, but if successful, it will set the stage for human launches on Starliner.
"When we go to launch humans in it, we are confident that everything was built correctly, and we've analyzed everything correctly and we're going to have a successful launch," said Boeing Vehicle Engineer Bryan Gartner.
NASA says astronauts launching to the International Space Station could happen by the end of the year.