Published: Tue, January 30, 2018
Sci-tech | By Eric Barnett

SpaceX's first Falcon Heavy rocket launch scheduled for 6 February

SpaceX's first Falcon Heavy rocket launch scheduled for 6 February

SpaceX is aiming to launch its Falcon Heavy rocket on February 6, according to CEO Elon Musk.

"Aiming for the first flight of Falcon Heavy on Feb 6 from Apollo launchpad 39A at Cape Kennedy".

Multiple commercial satellite customers have already booked flights on Falcon Heavy, and the U.S. Air Force will launch Space Test Program 2 (STP-2), a collection of experimental satellites, on SpaceX's new rocket as well. Even before the inaugural flights of the purpose-built, highly reusable Block 5 of Falcon 9, now slated for sometime in the next several months, SpaceX is expected to conduct a flurry of flight-proven launches as it wears down its stock of soon-to-be-outdated rockets of the Block 3 and 4 varieties. "If Falcon Heavy works, you basically have a ride to the moon, which is consistent with the long-term agenda of Washington and NASA".

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced the launch date of Falcon Heavy's maiden flight in a tweet over the weekend. Falcon Heavy can lift into orbit over 54 metric tons (119,000 lb), that's more than twice the payload of the next closest operational vehicle, the Delta IV Heavy, at one-third the cost. Each Falcon 9 uses nine engines to blast into space. NASA's Saturn V rocket, which was used for the Apollo moon landings, was retired in 1973.

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Assuming Falcon Heavy's launch isn't delayed by technical issues, bad weather, or errant boats (debris could rain over the Atlantic Ocean if the rocket blows up), lift-off should occur at 1:30 p.m. ET on February 6, though it could be as late as 4:30 p.m. Musk has said the Falcon Heavy will launch his own cherry-red Tesla Roadster into space.

The heavy system is created to carry heavier payloads into orbit and eventually take humans to Mars, with reusable vehicles that lower costs. The rocket is finally launching after nearly five years of delay.

The Tesla will be mounted inside the Falcon Heavy's upper covering and will boost into a heliocentric orbit around the sun on trajectory as far away as the orbit of Mars. The important thing here is that his Falcon Heavy is finally ready, and before long, it's going to be sending big, heavy things to and from space on a regular basis. Elon Musk posted it on Twitter. During the first launch, Falcon Heavy's engines will be throttled to 92 percent of full power. It features three Falcon 9 first-stage boosters joined together with a second-stage on the middle one.

The launch will be like three normal SpaceX launches happening simultaneously. Craig Bailey / FLORIDA TODAY SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket is seen here at a Kennedy Space Center hangar.

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