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Space & Astronomy

SpaceX successfully tests Falcon Heavy rocket

By T.K. Randall
May 10, 2017 · Comment icon 8 comments



The test fire of the Falcon Heavy's center core was a success. Image Credit: SpaceX / Twitter
When complete, the gargantuan new rocket will be capable of carrying a crew of astronauts to Mars.
Consisting of a large central booster with two smaller ones strapped to either side of it, the Falcon Heavy will be able to lift 140,000 pounds in to low-Earth orbit. By comparison the Falcon 9, which has already seen dozens of launches, is only able to carry 50,000 pounds.

Unlike the Falcon 9 however, the Falcon Heavy will also be able to send up to 37,000 pounds all the way to Mars, making it the ideal rocket for future deep space missions.
Now in a newly released video, SpaceX has demonstrated the first successful test fire of the Falcon Heavy's center core at the firm's rocket development facility in Texas.

If things continue to go well then the first launch of the rocket is likely to go forward as scheduled later on this year. There are also plans to send two space tourists on a trip around the Moon as early as 2018 as well as further plans to send a spacecraft to Mars by 2020.



Source: The Verge | Comments (8)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Merc14 6 years ago
Can't wait for the maiden flight.  
Comment icon #2 Posted by paperdyer 6 years ago
Almost looks like it came straight from an old 1950's SciFi movies before the 1st stage rockets drop off.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 6 years ago
This test is significant in as much as it is the flight ready hardware for the first Falcon Heavy flight that is being tested, but the test itself is rather routine. Only the central core booster was tested. The modifications that core has over a normal Falcon 9 first stage are minor and relate to having attachment points for the side boosters.Really this was no different to the routine tests SpaceX do on all their new Falcon 9s. The real test will occur a few weeks before launch when they test the entire vehicle... all 27 engines firing for a few seconds. One way or another that will be spect... [More]
Comment icon #4 Posted by Merc14 6 years ago
Waspie, I was under the impression that they gave up on crossfeed for at least the first few launches, has that changed?  Hard to  find out anything as SpaceX keeps news to themselves but nothing on their site.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 6 years ago
I hadn't heard that, but it is highly possible.   Ain't that the truth. For example they stated that they had given up on recovering the upper stage of the Falcon 9/Falcon Heavy. Recently I posted a comment on this fact only for SpaceX to announce a few days later that they might attempt to recover the upper stage of a Falcon 9. Never believe anything about SpaceX unless they have officially denied it.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 6 years ago
Another good example of SpaceX;s secrecy is the Max-Q abort test they were going to do on the manned version of the Dragon. A modified Falcon 9 with (I think) only three engines was going to launch from Cape Canaveral. At the point of maximum dynamic pressure the launch escape system was to be fired in a simulation of an emergency during launch. The rocket was prepared for the test, and then SpaceX had the first of their two major mishaps. The test never took place. Next month it will be two years since that accident, yet there is no information from SpaceX as to when, or even if, that abort t... [More]
Comment icon #7 Posted by Merc14 6 years ago
Yes, Blue Origin is the North Korea of rocket science and the unfortunate design of their rocket has already been the butt of a thousand jokes.  I understand form follows function with rockets but come on Jeff. 
Comment icon #8 Posted by Derek Willis 6 years ago
That is not the flight profile of the Delta IV Heavy. At lift-off the engines of the core and two boosters burn at 100%. After 60 seconds the core engine throttles down to 40% to reduce stress. The boosters burn for 240 seconds, shut down, and then fall away. The core engine then throttles up to 100% and burns for a total of 330 seconds. After shutdown the upper-stage takes over. I read that after abandoning the cross-over feed system, the Falcon Heavy is to operate in a similar way. The nine engines of each booster will burn continuously, however three of the core engines will shut down, and ... [More]


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