Elon Musk has confirmed that the Falcon Heavy, the world’s most powerful rocket will be launched later this month and it will be carrying his personal electric car as the cargo. The rocket will be launched at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
He claimed that that launch vehicle will blast off at the end of the month on an unmanned mission towards Mars. The rocket has a total of 27 engines and three separate re-usable cores that will return to Earth after liftoff during the test flight. This is undoubtedly the most complex challenge the firm has faced up to date and they have faced a lot.
Mulk took to Instagram to say:
Falcon Heavy now vertical on the former Apollo 11 moon rocket launchpad. At 2500 tons of thrust, equal to 18 Boeing 747 aircraft at full throttle, it will be the most powerful rocket in the world by a factor of two. Excitement on launch day guaranteed, one way or another. Hold-down test fire next week. Launch end of the month.
The Falcon heavy is actually three Falcon 9 rockets linked together and will have the combined thrust to eventually launch 140,000 pounds of cargo into orbit. Musk also released pictures of his cherry red Tesla being loaded as the cargo in the rocket.
Regarding the unique cargo, Musk said, “Test flights of new rockets usually contain mass simulators in the form of concrete or steel blocks. That seemed extremely boring. Of course, anything boring is terrible, especially companies, so we decided to send something unusual, something that made us feel. The payload will be an original Tesla Roadster, playing Space Oddity, on a billion year elliptic Mars orbit.”
If the flight goes as planned, the Falcon Heavy will lift off and enter Earth’s orbit where two of the booster rockets will separate off and return back to Earth in controlled landings. The central core of the rocket will then be separated from the main module containing the payload as it returns back to Earth.
The main module will then continue into deep space with the destination set for the orbit of Mars 140 million miles away. Musk knows that this is the most difficult project they have taken on and during the 2017 International Space Station Research and Development Conference, he said. “There’s a lot of risk associated with Falcon Heavy. Real good chance that the vehicle doesn’t make it to orbit. I want to make sure to set expectations accordingly.”
This is going to be an exciting end to the month one way or another. History is going to be made.