SpaceX Could Launch Falcon Heavy In Four Months
SpaceX is already well under way with test firing its Merlin engines for Falcon Heavy, the company's biggest and most powerful rocket to date, so it's no surprise that Elon Musk is already confident that its maiden flight will proceed as planned.
As a matter of fact, Musk tweeted that SpaceX expects all the huge rocket's cores to be delivered within three months and the actual Falcon Heavy maiden flight to happen just a month after that. Musk's revelation was a response to a Twitter follower who asked about the megarocket's launch.
All Falcon Heavy cores should be at the Cape in two to three months, so launch should happen a month after that
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 8, 2017
It will not be a surprise if some people would bring up the number of times Musk's companies — both Tesla and SpaceX — did not meet the deadlines, and it is possible that the launch could be delayed. After all, Falcon Heavy was originally intended to lift off in the first quarter of 2017, if not for the string of unfortunate events that caused major delays in 2016. Musk, however, is an ambitious man who learns from previous failures, so everything that the lengthy investigation has revealed about the Launchpad explosion in 2016 have most likely been resolved. It does not hurt that the Falcon Heavy demo is already listed in the SpaceX flight manifesto, even if there is no definite date yet. SpaceX also seems confident that things will go well. The company even posts videos of completed static fire tests it has accomplished for the Falcon Heavy rocket, such as the two tweets below showcasing both the Falcon Heavy center core and side booster.
First static fire test of a Falcon Heavy center core completed at our McGregor, TX rocket development facility last week. pic.twitter.com/tHUHc1QiKG — SpaceX (@SpaceX) May 9, 2017
Static fire test of a Falcon Heavy side booster completed in McGregor, TX last week. This booster previously launched Thaicom 8. pic.twitter.com/nWrNCXtu13
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) May 25, 2017
Of course, both tests were completed successfully.
A Closer Look At Falcon Heavy
Falcon Heavy, as mentioned above, is SpaceX's biggest rocket, and it is also the same space vehicle the company specifically designed to bring tourists to space and send crewed missions to the moon and, eventually, Mars. It can also be used to bring larger payloads into orbit. The rocket is designed with 27 Merlin engines housed in Falcon 9 nine-engine cores and is three times more powerful than Falcon 9.
Falcon Heavy is this times three. One way or another, launch is guaranteed to be exciting ... https://t.co/FPUNALj0Hd — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 25, 2017
Perhaps one of Falcon Heavy's most important aspects, aside from its power, is its reusability.
The Falcon Heavy rocket's first stage is composed of two reusable Falcon 9 boosters and a reusable central core booster that together generates about 22,819 kilonewtons (5 million pounds) of thrust during liftoff.
It is currently the largest and most powerful rocket in the world, so we can also expect huge accomplishments from Falcon Heavy.