The Elon Musk company just tested its Falcon Heavy rocket for the first time, a rocket that could eventually send mankind to Mars.
After years and years of waiting, SpaceX has just successfully tested its Falcon Heavy rocket by firing one of its three first stage cores at a facility in Texas recently. It’s a huge step forward for the company, which has been developing the gigantic rocket since 2011 in the hopes of using it to launch even larger payloads, and potentially even man to Mars.
The Falcon Heavy is much bigger than the Falcon 9 rocket used to send payloads into space today, and has been likened to three Falcon 9 rockets strapped together. It can blast 140,000 pounds into space, which compares favorably with the 50,000 that the Falcon 9 can send into orbit.
SpaceX posted video of the dramatic test firing of the rocket online. A few months ago, the rocket underwent the first static test. Like the Falcon 9, SpaceX intends to make the rocket recoverable after launch.
“When Falcon Heavy lifts off in 2017, it will be the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two,” SpaceX says on its website. “With the ability to lift into orbit over 54 metric tons (119,000 lb)–a mass equivalent to a 737 jetliner loaded with passengers, crew, luggage and fuel–Falcon Heavy can lift more than twice the payload of the next closest operational vehicle, the Delta IV Heavy, at one-third the cost. Falcon Heavy draws upon the proven heritage and reliability of Falcon 9. Its first stage is composed of three Falcon 9 nine-engine cores whose 27 Merlin engines together generate more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff, equal to approximately eighteen 747 aircraft. Only the Saturn V moon rocket, last flown in 1973, delivered more payload to orbit. Falcon Heavy was designed from the outset to carry humans into space and restores the possibility of flying missions with crew to the Moon or Mars.”