Look at These Incredible Photos of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy Rocket

05 January, 2018, 14:32 | Author: Becky Perry
  • The Falcon Heavy in all its glory

The mission was first added to SpaceX's manifest in October, with an initial launch slated for mid-November. That failure put the program on halt for almost 3 months but in the coming year China is looking at as many as 40 launches, with the pièce de résistance being an attempt at a landing on the Moon in May or June. SpaceX says, "Falcon Heavy was designed from the outset to carry humans into space and restores the possibility of flying missions with crew to the Moon or Mars".

Falcon Heavy would be launched by January end.

SpaceX has said that the rocket will be capable of carrying 140,000 pounds of cargo into space. Like any proud creator, SpaceX heavily documented the moment, unveiling the fully upright, fully assembled Falcon Heavy in all its glory sitting on a Florida launch pad and ready for its so-called fit test. Musk also confirmed that the Falcon Heavy's hold down test fire will occur sometime next week.

The rocket can ship a massive payload into space.

'Test flights of new rockets usually contain mass simulators in the form of concrete or steel blocks, ' Musk said.

The centre core of the rocket will separate from the main module, containing Musk's vehicle, and then begin its own controlled descent back to Earth, landing on a drone ship. He's said the vehicle will be in a "billion-year elliptic Mars orbit", but that probably does not mean it will actually orbit Mars. Meanwhile, the center stage will throttle up and continue on as if it were a Falcon 9.

The Tesla Roadster prepped for launch
The Tesla Roadster prepped for

The mission marks SpaceX's most ambitious project to date. The Falcon Heavy is like a Falcon 9 rocket on a double dose of steroids. As SpaceX has pointed out, getting all 27 Merlin engines to ignite in unison is vital to the success of the launch. Inside that cone-shaped faring rests Elon Musk's personal Tesla Roadster.

The $200,000 (£151,000) sports auto - an updated version of Tesla's first production vehicle - can seat four and travel 620 miles (1000 km) on a single charge, a new record for an electric vehicle.

The Falcon Heavy rocket sits on its launchpad at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Whatever does happen, the Falcon Heavy launch is sure to make for a thrilling spectacle.

SpaceX has revolutionized the aerospace industry over the past 15 years, driving costs down in the industry while at the same time developing technology that can blast out of the atmosphere and then come back down to earth.

It was last in the year 2002 that the US led the number of space launches, but following the Columbia disaster, Russian Federation topped the list every year from 2003 to 2015.

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