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Space & Astronomy

Falcon Heavy set to launch on February 6th

By T.K. Randall
January 29, 2018 · Comment icon 86 comments

SpaceX is set to make history in just over one weeks' time. Image Credit: SpaceX / Elon Musk
The first test launch of Elon Musk's next generation rocket is set to take place in just over a week.
The Falcon Heavy, which consists of a strengthened Falcon 9 rocket core with two additional Falcon 9 boosters on either side, is the company's first super heavy-lift launch vehicle.

Like the Falcon 9, each of the boosters are reusable and will land again after each launch, helping to keep costs down and to reduce the buildup of space debris in Earth's orbit.

The rocket will be lifting off from the historic Launch Pad 39A ( the same pad from which the Apollo Moon missions launched ) at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
It will be carrying perhaps the most unusual payload of any major launch - Musk's Tesla Roadster - with the aim of placing it in to a heliocentric orbit that will eventually take it very close to Mars.

Musk himself has warned however that there is no guarantee that the launch will be a success.

"There's a lot that could go wrong there," he said. "I encourage people to come down to the Cape to see the first Falcon Heavy mission; it's guaranteed to be exciting."

Source: Space.com | Comments (86)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #77 Posted by internetperson 5 years ago
Got a link? That doesn't sound right but I don't know much about this stuff.
Comment icon #78 Posted by Derek Willis 5 years ago
What doesn't sound right? That there are many rocket stages in orbit around the Sun? Every probe that travels to a planet, comet etc. needs to be accelerated to beyond Earth's escape velocity using a rocket stage. These stages go into orbit around the Sun. Here is a link to a Wiki page which gives some idea of how many have been launched during the last fifty-odd years. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Solar_System_probes You can count them yourself!
Comment icon #79 Posted by Merc14 5 years ago
Lists of objects in heliocentric orbit  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_artificial_objects_in_heliocentric_orbit
Comment icon #80 Posted by internetperson 5 years ago
I think we have the definition of orbit mixed up, that being said I'm looking to learn not argue so exclamation points are not necessary.
Comment icon #81 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy 5 years ago
How do you define orbit ? 
Comment icon #82 Posted by Derek Willis 5 years ago
I meant no offence: I was simply meaning that if you want to know how many rocket stages, probes, and other human-made objects are in orbit around the Sun, you can count them yourself.
Comment icon #83 Posted by Merc14 5 years ago
If you are looking to learn then you'd tell us how you define orbit because no one knows what you are talking about here.
Comment icon #84 Posted by internetperson 5 years ago
No worries. I definitely need to read up on how the rockets work, stages during the flight, etc at some point in time. Most of my knowledge comes from watching Apollo 13. Oh and regarding the orbit thing: Something has to be specifically 'set' in orbit, right? So it didn't make sense to me that rocket stages or probes would consistently drop into orbit solely around the sun. But after checking out mercs link I see how heliocentric is different from what I was thinking. If heliocentric is redundant in this context then my bad.
Comment icon #85 Posted by Derek Willis 5 years ago
An orbit is simply the path an object follows under the influence of a gravitational field. We tend to think of orbits as being "closed", as in an ellipse or a circle (which is really just a special case of an ellipse). This is because the word "orbit" is derived from "orb" - ancient people used to think that the Sun, Moon, planets and stars were embedded on a series of moving glass orbs (spheres) all centered on the Earth. There are also "open" orbits, which are parabolic or hyperbolic. Whether an orbit is closed or open depends on the velocity of the object in question, and the strength of t... [More]
Comment icon #86 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 5 years ago

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