Falcon Heavy to take first flight Feb

28 January, 2018, 00:50 | Author: Kim Reid
  • 1_25_SpaceX Falcon Heavy

The hold-down firing test saw Falcon Heavy belching out violent exhaust and steam. The logistics of that launch could conceivably have an effect on the timing for the Falcon Heavy's debut. Generated quite a thunderhead of steam.

SpaceX has set February 6 as the target for its Falcon Heavy launch, the first ever test flight of the new, high-capacity rocket that the company is building to allow it to send almost three times as much payload per mission into orbit. Musk notes that there will be "Easy viewing from the public causeway".

Normally, that means sending a concrete mass into orbit, but Musk decided instead to send his original Tesla Roadster into an orbit around the Sun.

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This now paves the way for a data review and an L-2 (Launch -2 day) Launch Readiness Review that will likely clear the Falcon 9 for launch of the SES payload.

The world's most powerful rocket finally has a date for its debut: February 6. More impressive that the output of the platform however, is that Musk claims each Falcon Heavy launch will cost less than a third of the price of a Delta IV launch, which is now the most powerful operational platform in use today.

The company now only operates the Falcon 9 rocket, which consists of a core first stage booster and a second stage.

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By comparison, the liftoff thrust of the Falcon Heavy equals approximately eighteen 747 aircraft at full power. SpaceX points out that it could put a Boeing 737 jetliner in orbit, fully loaded with passengers, luggage and fuel.

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy stands tall at Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida during ground testing. The first static-fire test of all 27 engines took place successfully on Wednesday.

SpaceX plans to start building its first BFR by mid year. The rocket will launch no earlier than February 6th, with a window of 1:30 PM ET to 4:30 PM ET.

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It's also enough thrust to launch payloads to the Moon or Mars, so the Falcon Heavy is the key component in SpaceX's bigger ambitions.

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