Falcon Heavy's successful launch opened a new chapter for SpaceX. Now that the bar has already been raised, it is concentrating in the development of an even bigger and more powerful spaceship.
Known as the Big Falcon Rocket, the new vehicle outgrows its predecessor's two-stage system. It completely minimizes the stage separation process by being the first single-stage rocket within the heavy-lift market.
Specifically, the BFR is designed to conduct planetary entries on Mars and other planets that are yet to be fully explored, and to accomplish this purpose, it would need to survive heat shields and other harsh atmospheric conditions.
Being a spaceship with a crew on board, flights are anticipated to be more challenging, but Elon Musk, the company's chief executive, announced in a press conference that it could be ready for experimental takeoffs as early as 2019.
SpaceX's team currently has their hands full with building the new crew capsule Dragon 2, as well as the Falcon 9 upgrade. Upon the completion of both projects, there would be nothing left to work on except for the BFR.
Falcon 9 And Falcon Heavy Updates
After its modification, the design and development of the Falcon 9 together with Falcon Heavy would finally reach completion.
Musk claimed that his team has already gained a better understanding of reusable booster technology, allowing them to not just upgrade existing rockets but also to streamline the BFR for space exploration.
With an improved booster, the reusable spaceship's first test is taking off from the Earth and successfully re-entering its surface. After this, the BFR will then conduct the same test on the moon.
These full-scale tests are coming much later, according to Musk. They are estimated to be conducted in the following three to four years. For the meantime, SpaceX continues to render services through the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy.
Big Falcon Rocket: A Megarocket Slash Spaceship
Its spaceship component and launch system are designed to sit atop an enormous booster propelled by 31 Raptor engines. In comparison, the Falcon Heavy is only powered by 27 Merlin engines.
SpaceX's BFR is rising at a height of 348 feet with a capability of launching 150 tons of payload into low-Earth orbit.