Published On: Tue, Aug 8th, 2017

WATCH: Animation of test flight for ’worlds most powerful rocket’ tasked with Mars mission


SpaceX CEO Elon Musk unveiled an animation showing how the rocket might look in an Instagram post ahead of a test flight in November.

The rocket’s mission is to provide a means of lifting large amounts of cargo into space at a relatively low cost, with SpaceX stating that one day it will take astronauts to the moon and Mars.

Mr Musk boasted in the post’s caption that the Falcon Heavy has “twice the thrust of the next largest rocket currently flying”.

He added that the reusable launch vehicle has “two–thirds the thrust of the Saturn V moon rocket”.

The Tesla chief also expressed concern for the FH’s maiden space flight, ending his post’s caption with: “Lot that can go wrong in the November launch…”

In July, the business magnate said: “I think Falcon Heavy is going to be a great vehicle.

“There’s just so much that’s really impossible to test on the ground, and we’ll do our best. It actually ended up being way harder to do Falcon Heavy than we thought.

“At first it sounds real easy, you just stick two first stages on as strap-on boosters, but then everything changes.

“All the loads change, aerodynamics totally change. You’ve tripled the vibration and acoustics. You sort of break the qualification levels on so much of the hardware.

“Falcon Heavy requires the simultaneous ignition of 27 orbit-class engines. There’s a lot that can go wrong there.”

On its website, SpaceX describes the Falcon Heavy as “the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two”.

It is designed to lift more than twice the payload of the next closest vehicle, the Delta IV Heavy, with SpaceX claiming it will do so at “one-third of the cost”.

In addition, Boeing and SpaceX are planning to send astronauts to space from the US in 2018 — something that has not happened since 2011.

Both companies were tasked by NASA’s Commercial Crew Development program to build manned space capsules that will send astronauts to the International Space Station.



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