SpaceX to launch heaviest rocket Falcon Heavy at ‘end of month’, Elon Musk announces | Science | News


The space exploration company has said that it will fire its Falcon Heavy rocket in a test flight from the Kennedy Space Center “at the end of the month”, without giving a specific date.

Billionaire Mr Musk posted a picture of the Falcon Heavy on Instagram, alongside the caption: “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.”

Rather than carrying a customers’ payload, the Falcon Heavy will carry a “cherry Tesla Roadster” to orbit Mars, playing David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’ on repeat. The firm said it would “be in deep space for a billion years or so if it doesn’t blow up on ascent.”

Last month, Mr Musk posted a series of pictures on Instagram of the red Tesla Roadster inside the Falcon Heavy.

Alongside the images, Mr Musk put: “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.”

However, Mr Musk has admitted there is a significant chance that the Falcon Heavy rocket test could fail.

Speaking of the rocket in July, he said: “I hope it makes it far enough away from the pad that it does not cause pad damage.

“I would consider even that a win, to be honest.”



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