‘Falcon Heavy maiden launch this November, ‘ Musk wrote on social media alongside a concept photo of the powerful three-core rocket.
SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket has been in the works for so long that it nearly feels like the stuff of legend at this point (Elon Musk first unveiled it in 2011), but there are signs that it might make that promised November launch.
The Falcon Heavy is essentially made up of three Falcon 9s strapped together, which allows it to ferry roughly three times as more payload into space.
SpaceX has finished testing first stage cores of the Falcon Heavy rocket slated to send humans to the moon next year and launch man to Mars in the coming decades. Its first stage is composed of three Falcon 9 nine-engine cores whose 27 Merlin engines together generate more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff, equal to approximately eighteen 747 aircraft.
According to the SpaceX website, Falcon Heavy could carry up to 37,000 pounds of cargo and crew to the red planet. We’ll just take two first stages and use them as strap-on boosters, ‘ Musk said. Recently, Musk announced that SpaceX will launch the rocket in November.
Once the Falcon Heavy finally enters in operation, the “most powerful rocket” crown might not last long. This is partly because the company can only prepare so much from tests like the one that happened on Friday. Unfortunately, the plan didn’t pan out and got delayed back t0 2017. “There’s a lot of risk associated with Falcon Heavy, a real good chance that that vehicle does not make it to orbit”, he said at the International Space Station Research and Development Conference in Washington DC in July. The sooner the company can get Falcon Heavy into service, the sooner it can handle challenging missions that are barely on its radar.
In the same tech-world spirit of moving fast and breaking (really, really expensive) things, Musk also tweeted last week that he’s assembling a “blooper reel” of failed Falcon 9 rocket landings.