In the summer, Ilon Musk announced
that he was going to launch the Falcon Heavy
heavy carrier rocket
at the end of this or the beginning of next year. He spoke about this earlier, but now the launch date is more or less precisely defined. It is worth noting that the launch dates move constantly. Initially, SpaceX Falcon Heavy was going to be launched in 2013. But in the company something was constantly happening, and the launch was postponed.
Musk says that the launch will not necessarily be successful, the probability of an explosion is high. The problem is that there are 27 engines installed in the rocket, and they must work synchronously. If this does not happen, either the launch will be stopped, or the rocket will explode - at the moment of take-off or after it.
Anyway, Ilon Musk published a
photo of his rocket. It will allow two crew members to fly around the moon and return to Earth, or launch up to 17 tons of payload into Mars orbit.
The photo shows that neither the payload nor the head fairing yet. Musk once said that his personal electric car Tesla would be used as a cargo. Then it turned out that this is a joke (or not?).
The rocket uses the first three steps of the Falcon 9 Full Thrust as accelerators. During the flight, side accelerators are first activated, and then, after they are undocked, the first stage engines start. It is believed that all three stages are returned, they can be returned to the Earth after take-off and reused. Judging by the number of successful returns problems with this should not be.
Well, the reusable stages themselves make it cheaper to start, and in this case the cost reduction will be very significant. "Our actions must meet US expectations that the delivery of cargo into space can be reduced, which will make the study of space more accessible," stated in the SpaceX document.
Falcon Heavy is scheduled to launch from launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center.