Space X's Falcon Heavy finally fires up for the first time

Space X's Falcon Heavy finally fires up for the first time

Space X's Falcon Heavy finally fires up for the first time

Space scientists will be rooting for it, too.

It was Musk's first tweet in more than a week. The vehicle will be sent in an elongated orbit that will take it out into the Solar System, near Mars. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter this afternoon that Falcon Heavy the static fire "was good" and that it generated "quite a thunderhead of steam" in the process.

"Launching in a week or so", he said.

Such price tags could transform mission planning for NASA and other space agencies, Stern says. You know, just in case he didn't have enough to lose already.

The Heavy - described by SpaceX as far back as 2005 - is essentially a Falcon 9 with two additional Falcon 9 boosters attached to the sides. The 3.6-ton probe, slated to launch as early as 2022, would conduct flybys of Jupiter's intriguing frozen moon to map its icy crust and subsurface ocean.

This is what SpaceX is all about, to offer a low-priced and reliable way to transport people and payloads to space.

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"It is essentially the first time the nation has gotten a super heavy-lift vehicle at essentially zero cost to the taxpayer", said Phil Larson, an assistant dean at the University of Colorado's engineering school who previously worked at SpaceX.

However, the Falcon Heavy is more than a large brute of a rocket; it is symbol of the future of space exploration.

"Only the Saturn V moon rocket, last flown in 1973, delivered more payload to orbit", said SpaceX.

The Falcon Heavy won't, however, be the most powerful rocket in history. The California-based company also launched the NROL-76 satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office in May 2017 and the Air Force's robotic X-37B space plane in September of that year. The other mission parameters for the Falcon Heavy's first flight are equally ambitious: All three Falcon 9 cores are expected to detatch from each other and land back on the launch pad or on a drone ship at sea.

SpaceX is about to light a very big candle. Bloomberg also speculates that SpaceX and Northrop Grumman have limited liability contracts with the government. If all goes well, the rocket could be well on its way to fulfilling its role in helping humans reach Mars. Now he admits that putting together the Falcon Heavy proved more daunting than he initially thought.

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