SpaceX Is One Step Closer To Private Spaceflight: Falcon Heavy’s First Stage Cores Just Finished Testing
SpaceX finally has a big update for the debut of their rocket, Falcon Heavy. Last Saturday, the company announced on their Instagram account that they have just finished testing the three, first stage cores of Falcon Heavy at their McGregor, Texas, facility. The work that the team at SpaceX has put into this project since May may not be as dramatic as an actual launch, but it definitely brings them closer in bringing larger payloads into space.
Falcon Heavy is made up of three Falcon 9 rockets that are linked together with one of them with added strength. They specifically created their system this way, so that it will allow them to carry heavier loads. This move is crucial to the future business of SpaceX since they are aiming for bigger missions.
As of the moment, a solo Falcon 9 rocket has a 50,000-lb limit for a one-way trip that can go into a low Earth orbit. Engadget shares that with the Heavy system, SpaceX can raise the limit to 140,700 lbs at the same orbit, but it will be powerful enough to go on private missions to the Moon and even Mars.
Last month, Elon Musk announced their plan to send their heavy lift rocket, Falcon Heavy, to space this coming November. This will be the first attempt of SpaceX to send a rocket into space, and the SpaceX CEO was quite honest with his expectations. In a report from Engadget, Musk revealed during a space conference in Washington that he believes that there is a good chance that the Falcon Heavy won’t even reach orbit on its first launch
Engadget also reported that SpaceX was originally aiming for a launch during summer but according to Musk, they will need more time to prepare their rocket. Falcon Heavy’s cores are quite difficult to transport, and it would need about two to three months before it can reach Cape Canaveral. With the latest update though, it seems that the November launch might still be on the table.
When Elon Musk revealed his plans for Falcon Heavy in 2011, everyone was excited for the future of private spaceflight. He may have set low expectations for the launch but he also added that “one way or another, launch is guaranteed to be exciting,” according to Engadget.
SpaceX is planning to launch Falcon Heavy at NASA’s historic launch pad 39A located at Kennedy Space Center. They have not provided details as to the time and date of the launch and if they will be live-streaming it. One thing is for sure though, once they can have the Falcon Heavy lift off, it will definitely pave the way for bigger missions for SpaceX.
[Featured Image by Bill Ingalls/Getty Images]