Science and Tech
SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy to launch in early February
Washington, Jan. 28 (IANS): The first flight of SpaceX’s heavy-lift rocket Falcon Heavy is now scheduled for early February, the California-based company said.
“Aiming for first flight of Falcon Heavy on February 6 from Apollo launchpad 39A at Cape Kennedy,” SpaceX founder Elon Musk tweeted. “Easy viewing from the public causeway.”
Falcon Heavy completed its static firing test at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida on Wednesday after multiple delays, Xinhua reported on Saturday.
Soon after the test, Musk tweeted that the rocket is ready for launch “in a week or so.”
The tech billionaire has said the rocket will carry a red Tesla Roadster into space, eventually to a Mars orbit, where it should remain “for a billion years or so if it doesn’t blow up on ascent.”
The Falcon Heavy, a reusable super heavy-lift launch vehicle, is seen as the world’s most powerful rocket since NASA’s Saturn V moon rocket in the 1960s.
Its first stage is composed of three Falcon 9 nine-engine cores whose 27 Merlin engines together generate more than 5 million pounds (2.3 million kg) of thrust at liftoff, equal to about eighteen 747 aircraft.
Only the Saturn V moon rocket, last flown in 1973, delivered more payload to orbit.
Falcon Heavy was designed to carry humans into space and restores the possibility of flying missions with crew to the Moon or Mars, according to SpaceX.