Falcon Heavy SpaceX
A regularly updated listing of planned missions from spaceports around the globe. Dates and times are given in Greenwich Mean Time. “NET” stands for no earlier than. “TBD” means to be determined. Recent updates appear in red type.
SpaceX teases with photo of ‘world’s most powerful rocket’ ahead of 2017 launch
SpaceX has released a sneak peak of its Falcon Heavy rocket, as the company prepares to launch the “world’s most powerful rocket” next year. The image, posted on SpaceX’s Instagram account, shows the rocket sitting pretty in the factory and explains that it is being prepped ahead of its 2017 launch. The first launch of Falcon Heavy was initially scheduled for 2016, but was pushed back to 2017 due to the explosion of a Falcon 9 spacecraft in September. An exact date for the launch has not been announced.
SpaceX just teased a photo of its highly anticipated Falcon Heavy rocket
On Wednesday afternoon, SpaceX released the first photo of actual hardware for the Falcon Heavy rocket—the interstage, which connects the first and second stages of the booster—and the photo included the massive launch vehicle’s official logo. Published on Instagram, the photo included this caption Falcon Heavy interstage being prepped at the rocket factory. When FH flies next year, it will be the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two.
A Moon rocket?
Nevertheless, if SpaceX succeeds with the Falcon Heavy it has the potential to disrupt the heavy lift launch market. A mid-2017 launch would bring the Falcon Heavy onto the scene before NASA can launch its own heavy lift rocket, the Space Launch System, in late 2018. Although the SLS rocket has more lift capacity to low Earth orbit compared to the SpaceX vehicle, 70 metric tons to 54, it will also have launch costs about 10 times as high.
Falcon 9 could launch again in November, Falcon Heavy debut slips to 2017
SpaceX hopes to resume launches in November as the company continues its investigation into a Sept. 1 launch pad explosion to determine whether the accident originated on the Falcon 9 rocket or ground systems, officials said Tuesday. The first launch of SpaceX’s new Falcon Heavy rocket, formed by bolting three Falcon 9 first stage boosters together, has slipped from late 2016 until the first quarter of 2017, four years after the company’s initial targeted debut of the heavy-lifter.
Falcon Heavy is a super-heavy lift space launch system developed and operated by Space Exploration Technologies, SpaceX. Using the company’s Falcon 9 launcher as a basis, Falcon Heavy consists of three F9 cores with a total of 27 Merlin engines, topped by a Falcon 9 upper stage. Operated from Vandenberg Air Force Base and the Kennedy Space Center, Falcon Heavy can be used to access a variety of orbits including Low Earth Orbit, Geostationary Transfer Orbit and interplanetary trajectories.
Falcon 9 is a family of two-stage-to-orbit launch vehicles, named for its use of nine first-stage engines, designed and manufactured by SpaceX. The Falcon 9 versions are the Falcon 9 v1.0, Falcon 9 v1.1, and the current Falcon 9 Full Thrust, a partially-reusable launch system. Both stages are powered by rocket engines that burn liquid oxygen and rocket-grade kerosene propellants. The first stage is designed to be reusable, while the second stage is not. The Falcon 9 versions are in the medium-lift to heavy-lift range of launch systems. The current Falcon 9 Full Thrust can lift payloads of up to 22,800 kilograms to low Earth orbit, and up to 8,300 kilograms to geostationary transfer orbit.
Falcon Heavy, previously known as the Falcon 9 Heavy, is a super heavy lift space launch vehicle being designed and manufactured by SpaceX. The Falcon Heavy is a variant of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle and will consist of a standard Falcon 9 rocket core, with two additional strap-on boosters derived from the Falcon 9 first stage. This will increase the low Earth orbit payload to 54.4 tonnes, compared to 22.8 tonnes for a Falcon 9 full thrust. Falcon Heavy was designed from the outset to carry humans into space and it would restore the possibility of flying crewed missions to the Moon or Mars.