Fresh Images: SpaceX Falcon Heavy Looks Like It’s Ready To Go
It’s (almost) the final countdownby Jonathan Lopez, on
SpaceX, Elon Musk’s after-hours hobby when he isn’t busy making electric cars, just puts its new Falcon Heavy rocket on the launchpad, marking the occasion with a series of images and videos on social media. SpaceX hopes to the light the candle some time later this month.
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The massive machine is capable of putting a 140,660-pound payload into low-Earth orbit thanks to its 27 first-stage “Merlin” engines
Taking its position on the LC-39A launchpad at the NASA Kennedy Space Center on Merrit Island, Florida, the same complex used to launch the Saturn V rocket that took astronauts to the Moon, the Falcon Heavy rocket has been all over the Internet for the past few days, much to the delight of starry-eyed space fans with dreams of exploring the great infinite beyond.
“With more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff – equal to approximately eighteen 747 aircraft at full power – Falcon Heavy will be the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two,” SpaceX tweeted on Tuesday. The massive machine is capable of putting a 140,660-pound payload into low-Earth orbit thanks to its 27 first-stage “Merlin” engines. In essence, the Falcon Heavy is like three Falcon 9 rockets glued together, although SpaceX probably used something more, uh, adhesive than glue. Probably space glue.
The rocket will be carrying a Tesla Roadster into orbit around the Sun before a slingshot over to Mars' orbit. David Bowie's Space Oddity will be playing during takeoff.
SpaceX is currently leasing the LC-39A pad from NASA. For now, the plan is to launch the Falcon Heavy later in January, although delays are highly likely. The rocket will be carrying a Tesla Roadster into orbit around the Sun before a slingshot over to Mars’ orbit. David Bowie’s Space Oddity will be playing during takeoff.
However, before it does all that, the Falcon Heavy will undergo a series of tests to make sure all systems are working as intended.
All told, this is a very exciting time for any and all fans of space flight. The long-term goal is, of course, putting human beings on Mars, but before we get there, we suppose a drop-top Tesla will suffice.
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