SpaceX’s most powerful rocket yet, The Flacon Heavy is all set to launch today , on 6th of February at 1:30 pm eastern time (12 am, Wednesday, Indian Standard Time). Disrupting the whole space industry with his company SpaceX, Elon Musk is about to launch a rocket to the mars orbit with his midnight cherry Tesla Roadster as the payload. The live stream can be seen on the SpaceX website or on Youtube.
This is a test launch and the rocket will lift off from the Kennedy Space Centre, launch complex 39, in Florida. It was also the launch pad for several milestone missions, mainly the Apollo mission or Project Apollo that sent humans to the moon in 1969.
The Falcon Heavy
With its debut lift off in a matter of hours, it will be the most powerful operating rocket in the world. With the capability to lift a massive 141,000 pounds into the orbit, it can lift double the cargo than the Delta 4 Heavy which is the next closest operational vehicle.
The Flacon Heavy comprises of 3 Flacon 9 boosters that provide 3 times the thrust. These boosters are recoverable and reusable, which is the USP of SpaceX, thereby cutting down the space travel costs to a miniscule.
SpaceX founder and CEO, Elon Musk said, “Rapid and complete reusability is really the key to opening up space.”
Two of the three Falcon 9 boosters will return to the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, whereas the third one will return to a drone manoeuvred mobile launch pad in the ocean.
Each booster consists of 9 Merlin engines, thereby blessing the The Falcon Heavy with 27 Merlin engines that generate more than 5 million pounds or 22,819 kilonewtons of thrust at liftoff. It has the most thrust to payload ratio and is drastically cost effective. It costs a mere 90 Million USD to launch it to up to 8.0mT to GTO (Geosynchronous transfer orbit). This is considerably lower than the billion dollar government projects.
On being asked about his tesla roadster as being the payload of this test launch, Musk said, “It’s just for fun. A lot of people don’t understand the purpose of sending a car to mars. There’s no point obviously. It’s just for fun and to get the public excited. Normally when a rocket is tested, they put something really boring on board, like a block of concrete or a chunk of steel or something. And that’s pretty boring. So let’s watch the most fun thing we could put on.”
The Mission behind SpaceX
The main goal of SpaceX is to make life multi-planetory. It aims at sending humans to mars and to colonize mars by 2022.
The video uploaded by SpaceX showcasing the Falcon Heavy animation can be seen – here.
All being said and done, this test launch might be the stepping stone to making human life multi-planetary. Do not miss out on the launch and be sure to watch The Falcon Heavy lift off today.
Watch the live streaming of The Flacon Heavy launch – Here