Tuesday, 20 February, 2018

SpaceX to launch 'most powerful rocket in the world' this month

SpaceX pushes rocket launch back to Sunday SpaceX releases close up images of Falcon Heavy's launch pad debut
Eleanor Moreno | 05 January, 2018, 14:36

As things stand now, the launch window for the Falcon 9 rocket and its secretive payload is between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. EST, Sunday.

Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, took to social media Thursday to share posts of the company's rocket going vertical and an update on when it's expected to be launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The Falcon 9 rocket's reusable first stage will attempt a controlled landing at Landing Zone 1 (LZ1) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Musk says the Falcon Heavy's thrust is equal to 18 Boeing 747 planes at full throttle. "Launch end of the month", he wrote. Musk also confirmed that the Falcon Heavy's hold down test fire will occur sometime next week. With the ability to lift into orbit over 54 metric tons (119,000 lb)-a mass equivalent to a 737 jetliner loaded with passengers, crew, luggage and fuel-Falcon Heavy can lift more than twice the payload of the next closest operational vehicle, the Delta IV Heavy, at one-third the cost.

SpaceX Falcon Heavy

SpaceX announced January 4 that the Zuma launch had been rescheduled to no sooner than the evening of January 7 because "extreme weather" in Florida had slowed launch preparations, an apparent reference to unseasonably cold weather in the region.

Meanwhile, the fate of the Falcon Heavy launch remains unknown. "Excitement on launch day guaranteed, one way or another", he wrote.

SpaceX does have some customers for the Falcon Heavy queuing up, however.


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