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SpaceX Falcon Heavy success could kill Space Launch System


As you can see from the recent Tweet (above), the company has been performing tests with the Falcon Heavy.

Since announcing Falcon Heavy, which is out-performed only by NASA's retired Saturn V rocket, Musk has characterized the maiden flight as "high-risk" due to the "aerial ballet" of coordination required to get it off the ground and land all three boosters.

Assuming Falcon Heavy's launch isn't delayed by technical issues, bad weather, or errant boats (debris could rain over the Atlantic Ocean if the rocket blows up), lift-off should occur at 1:30 p.m. ET on February 6, though it could be as late as 4:30 p.m.

SpaceX is targeting February 6 to launch its Falcon Heavy rocket for the first time.

"Easy viewing from the public causeway".

The Falcon 9 is now used to hoist satellites and supplies to the International Space Station. It's built by SpaceX - the industry-disrupting rocket maker started by billionaire Elon Musk.

The first flight will carry a dummy payload, though Musk has joked about using the rocket to carry a Tesla Roadster into space (which might actually be the case, judging from pre-release photos of the vehicle sitting in the Falcon Heavy's payload chamber).

"I love the thought of a auto drifting apparently endlessly through space and perhaps being discovered by an alien race millions of years in the future", Musk replied when asked on Twitter why he wanted to throw away a $100,000 electric sportscar.




Falcon Heavy is also the foundation of SpaceX's grand plans for colonizing Mars.

The Falcon Heavy's first passenger will be Musk's own red sports vehicle.

The static fire was extended to probably ensure that the rocket can safely and precisely ignite all of the 27 engines.

The 230 feet tall Falcon Heavy rocket has a strengthened central core Falcon 9 rocket along with another two Falcon 9 first stages as strap-on boosters. During the first launch, Falcon Heavy's engines will be throttled to 92 percent of full power.

Somewhat sadly, the inherent engineering limits of older versions of Falcon 9 and the imminent introduction of Block 5 mean that SpaceX has less and less of a need to recover flight proven boosters that have no hope of being cost-effectively refurbished and conducting additional flights. Eastern time for the Falcon Heavy liftoff from launch pad 39A.

The Falcon Heavy is basically three Falcon 9 cores strapped together. The rocket is finally launching after nearly five years of delay. Tom will be heading to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station early tomorrow morning in order to set up his remote cameras to capture yet another attractive SpaceX launch. Space fans can travel to the KSC visitor complex to watch the launch.

SpaceX will test-fire the rocket's 27 engines at the pad Monday.

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