SpaceX Falcon Heavy Is Company’s Biggest, Most Powerful Rocket, But Will Elon Musk Miss Another Deadline?

SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket may be ready to launch in just a few months from now, and the company’s CEO and founder Elon Musk has some exciting updates on its biggest and most powerful rocket ever built.

According to a report from Business Insider (c/o Yahoo Finance), the Falcon Heavy rocket measures 230 feet tall, and combines the power of three Falcon 9 rockets; with that in mind, the rocket makes use of a whopping 27 rocket engines, making it capable of creating over five million pounds of thrust upon liftoff. If all goes well, the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket is expected to see its maiden launch “in two to three months.”

Putting things in further perspective, Falcon Heavy is potentially capable of carrying approximately 119,000 pounds into orbit — that’s about the weight of a fully loaded Boeing 737 jet, as Business Insider noted. The rocket is also capable of carrying a small spaceship with two passengers and various items to the moon. That’s not much weight compared to NASA’s most powerful moon rockets — the space agency’s Saturn V rocket could send about three times more mass to the moon — but for what it’s worth, SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket is the most impressive rocket it’s ever built.

With just a few more months before the projected launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket, it would appear that SpaceX is prepared to make history sometime this summer and move even closer to achieving its plans of privately funding a trip to the moon. That’s long been documented as one of the company’s more ambitious plans. And while Elon Musk did say SpaceX may launch the Falcon Heavy in two to three months, Business Insider noted that Musk has been notorious for setting deadlines, yet ultimately missing them and being too conservative in assessing the difficulty of his companies’ endeavors.

That doesn’t just apply to SpaceX, but also Musk’s arguably better-known company, Tesla Motors. Automotive News opined in 2016 that the SpaceX and Tesla head honcho’s tendency to run behind schedule may as well be called the “Musk Doctrine,” and it’s a strategy (or a tendency) that often “drives Wall Street nuts” from a business standpoint.

“It goes something like this: People do paradigm-shifting work only when they’re under tremendous pressure, so the key is to ensure deadlines are always impossible. This could help explain why Musk has never launched a product on time, yet no one seems able to keep up with him.”

Similarly, the Federalist referenced Elon Musk’s notorious history of missing deadlines, this time talking about SpaceX. The Falcon Heavy rocket was briefly referenced, but writer Bre Payton mainly focused on the company’s grandiose plans to send two ordinary tourists to the moon in 2018, and its even more ambitious hopes of colonizing Mars by 2024.

“If their track record is any indication, we can expect lofty promises that gin up headlines and draw our collective attentions away from missed deadline after missed deadline. In other words,” wrote Payton, who believes that it’s about time SpaceX lives up to its moon and Mars travel promises.

As for SpaceX and the Falcon Heavy rocket, Business Insider pointed out that the rocket was supposed to have its maiden launch in March. Several setbacks had forced the company to reschedule the launch to the third quarter of 2017, including a September 2016 launchpad explosion that triggered a drawn-out probe and forced SpaceX to place a moratorium on future launches until the cause of the explosion was determined. Still, if Falcon Heavy does launch as scheduled, it could prove to be a potential game-changer for spaceflight, as SpaceX’s largest, most powerful, and finest rocket to date.

[Featured Image by Roberto Gonzalez/Getty Images]