SpaceX sets Falcon Heavy launch date

Jan 30, 2018, 01:23
SpaceX sets Falcon Heavy launch date

Capable of carrying a payload of 140,000 pounds into low Earth orbit, the rocket is only beaten by the Saturn V Apollo moon program rocket, which could carry up to 310,000 pounds. SpaceX said on Twitter.

Musk said the rocket will carry a Tesla Roadster from one of his other companies, eventually putting it into orbit around the sun that will bring it close to Mars.

The Falcon Heavy is essentially three smaller Falcon 9 rockets fastened together. Now, SpaceX is finally ready to set a firm launch date.

Described as the world's most powerful rocket built to date, the Falcon Heavy stands at 229 feet and measures 40 feet wide.

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The Falcon Heavy is so-named for its ability to launch larger payloads than SpaceX has been able to previously.

The engines are split between three Falcon 9 boosters and generate thrust equal to about 18 Boeing 747 aircraft. While crew aboard at least one of SpaceX's fleet of recovery vessels were tasked with attempting to recover any accessible floating debris after the first stage ditched into the ocean, it was very much intentionally expended, and SpaceX's West coast drone ship never left port. GovSat-1 will see this intentional practice of expending recoverable boosters continue - Falcon 9 B1032 is also expected to ditch into the ocean, with no recovery attempt being made aboard the drone ship Of Course I Still Love You.

According to experts, 92% of the thrust would be enough for the first launch. This makes it 45% more expensive than the Falcon 9, a rocket that has been traditionally used by SpaceX for most of its missions. Tom will be heading to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station early tomorrow morning in order to set up his remote cameras to capture yet another attractive SpaceX launch.

But even with all that careful preparation, things could still go haywire. "There's a lot that could go wrong there", Musk said at a conference past year.

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"Twenty-seven engines are firing simultaneously", Musk said at the March press conference. It took more than a year to refurbish the pad. The launch of the Falcon Heavy will herald a momentous time in the history of the space company, and it's something that we are looking forward to. That pad hosted Apollo and Space Shuttle missions going back to the heyday of human spaceflight.

In May a year ago, SpaceX released a video showing the Falcon Heavy's core engines going through their first static test, an indication of a real possible launch. Space fans can travel to the KSC visitor complex to watch the launch.

There's a big, big launch coming up on Florida's Space Coast on February 6, courtesy of SpaceX - one of the biggest and brightest launches in recent years.

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