SpaceX is the aerospace and exploration company founded by renowned techno-capitalist Elon Musk. In a new release on the company website, SpaceX offers a closer look at the Falcon Heavy rocket. Once it is operational in November 2017, it will be the world’s most powerful rocket in current operation, according to reports. In fact, it is a prototype for a rocket that Musk hopes will one day take humanity to Mars.
Falcon Heavy, the New and Improved Falcon 9
The new design is effectively the combination of 3 Falcon 9 rockets, which combined have a total of 27 engines. Musk himself shared an Instagram post that announced the rocket’s final design. It shows an animation of the rockets during lift off, with the two smaller side vehicles separating and returning to Earth. That core module also eventually returns to the planet’s surface as well.
The company has talked about the potential design since 2011, and they have been adjusting the concept and design ever since. This November launch will tell if all of the work and hype has been worth it.
“A lot can go wrong with the November launch,” Musk said in a statement.
Musk points out that the Falcon Heavy may not make it into orbit.
“I want to make sure to set expectations accordingly,” he added. “I hope it makes it far enough beyond the pad so that it does not cause pad damage. I would consider even that a win, to be honest.”
That has not dampened potential enthusiasm, as many believe this vehicle has the power to take us to Mars. Only the Saturn V rocket that sent the Apollo astronauts to the Moon had more power than this vehicle. However, it is still the world’s most powerful rocket about to be launched, and it is a first step on the still long path to Mars and even beyond.
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