The first photos of SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket

The first photos of SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket

Falcon Heavy, previously known as the Falcon 9 Heavy, is a variant of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle and will consist of a strengthened Falcon 9 rocket core, with two additional Falcon 9 first stages as strap-on boosters. With the ability to lift into orbit over 54 metric tons (119,000 lb) – a mass equivalent to a 737 jetliner loaded with passengers, crew, luggage and fuel. Falcon Heavy can lift more than twice the payload of the next closest operational vehicle, the Delta IV Heavy, at one-third the cost. Falcon Heavy draws upon the proven heritage and reliability of Falcon 9. 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. Only the Saturn V moon rocket, last flown in 1973, delivered more payload to orbit. Falcon Heavy was designed from the outset to carry humans into space and restores the possibility of flying missions with crew to the Moon or Mars.

On December 20, 2017, SpaceX founder Elon Musk has released the first pictures of the company’s Falcon Heavy booster on twitter. The photos show the powerful rocket in its hangar at the Kennedy Space Center, where it is getting prepared for its long-awaited maiden flight in January 2018. Musk also tweeted that the first payload will be his “…midnight cherry Tesla Roadster playing Space Oddity. Desination is Mars orbit. Will be in deep space for a billion years or so if it doesn’t blow up on ascent.” The rocket will boost the electric car past the orbit of Mars on a trajectory around Sun, Musk said.

When exactly will the maiden flight will be, still not announced. Since the Saturn V made its last fly in 1973, Falcon Heavy will be world’s most powerful rocket still in use, when it flies.

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