SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk, has recently tweeted that the company’s massive new rocket called the Falcon Heavy will be launched in January.
That’s not all, the rocket’s payload will be Musk’s own cherry Tesla Roadster, which will interestingly, be playing the song Space Oddity on the journey.
The Falcon Heavy is a powerful rocket, which is the follow-up to the Falcon 9. SpaceX aims to use it for missions to the Moon and Mars. It was originally supposed to be launched in 2013 or 2014; however, it is now scheduled for January 2018 launch.
"Falcon Heavy to launch next month from Apollo 11 pad at the Cape," Musk tweeted. "Will have double thrust of next largest rocket. Guaranteed to be exciting, one way or another."
In a separate tweet, the tech billionaire also said that the destination of the Tesla Roadster is the Mars orbit. It will be in deep space for around a billion year if it does not blow up during ascent.
The rocket is a blend of three of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 strapped together; subsequently, it will have thrice the thrust of one single Falcon 9 rocket. The stronger force the Falcon Heavy will allow the company to perform missions beyond the low orbit area of Earth.
The rocket will be capable of lifting more than 54 metric tons, which is equal to a 737 jetliner full of fuel, luggage, crew, and passengers. Falcon Heavy missions will send large payloads to orbit inside a composite fairing, which will protect satellites during delivery to destinations including low Earth orbit, geosynchronous transfer orbit, and geosynchronous orbit. The Falcon Heavy can also transport a Dragon spacecraft.
Interplanetary Transport System
Elon Musk ultimately wants to build a mega-rocket known as the Interplanetary Transport System, which will basically make the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy obsolete, as well as take on their duties. It will carry out missions like making 30-minute transcontinental travel possible on Earth and helping to build a colony on Mars.
SpaceX wants to send their first cargo mission to the red planet in 2022. Its objectives will be to identify hazards and confirm water resources while putting an initial life support, mining, and power infrastructure in place.
The company also aims to launch a second mission in 2024, which will transport both cargo and crew to Mars with the main objective of constructing a propellant depot and getting ready for future manned flights. The spacecraft from these initial missions will also serve as the beginnings of SpaceX’s first Mars base where they will build a thriving city and gradually a self-sustaining civilization on the planet.