Elon musk’s much-awaited falcon launch is expected to happen on Tuesday ( Feb 6 ). Musk announcement of SpaceX company rocket launch in 2011 raised many eyebrows & after 7 years they gonna go live with the test flight. So, let’s go into detail about this Falcon heavy from SpaceX.
Before going into falcon heavy, let’s discuss falcon 9. Falcon 9 is designed & manufactured by SpaceX, it includes variants from the retired Falcon 9 v1.0 & v1.1 along with falcon full thrust. 9 indicated the use of nine first-stage engined which are utilizing liquid oxygen (LOX) and rocket-grade kerosene (RP-1) propellants.
Falcon heavy consists of 3 such falcon 9 strapped together that’s a total of 27 engines which powers one Falcon Heavy rocket which is the first one to use these many engines. It already earned the title of world’s powerful rocket which can carry around 140,000 pounds of cargo into Earth’s lower orbit.
If you think using this amount of infrastructure is just a waste of energy & resources, Falcon heavy is very cheap, each flight of it costs around $90 million where the next powerful rocket takes about $350 million per launch. Moreover, they are using Falcon 9 which cannot fly currently. This launch gonna take place at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, called LC-39A, where they Space X team modified the launch pad to fit their requirement.
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As this is a demo flight, they gonna test the rocket by sending a Tesla Red Roadster from a personal collection of Elon Musk along with mannequin called Starman where they suited up him with Space X suit. They gonna launch it in Mars orbit but the chances of landing on Mars is almost negligible.
Check out this animated video of how the Falcon launch is planned.
Falcon heavy will start it launch with three cores out of which two cores will be detached in ascent & will land on earth at Cape Canaveral where they constructed two launching pads for two cores. The center core will head back to Atlantic & land on drone ships of SpaceX in the ocean. The main of SpaceX is to reuse the infrastructure, so they gonna use these again in a future launch.
If it’s successful
If the falcon heavy launch is successful then it will grab many eyeballs & attention in media. It already booked a launch to put up a large communications satellite for operator Arabsat of Saudi Arabia in early 2018. Also, NASA is looking for cheaper options & falcon heavy might prove the best one if it’s successful.
The US Airforce also gonna test it with payload to judge where it’s ready to fly for national security payloads or not. There is a pretty big line up for a falcon in 2018 & 2019. Once this test is passed the business of falcon heavy will quicken up & many will be interested in it.
The main problem lies here if it blows up depends on where it blows the situation worsens for SpaceX. Already Falcon 9 has exploded on the ground in 2016 causing a lot of damage to launch pad which took a year & $50 million to repair. But if the Falcon heavy face the similar situation then it will be worse than the earlier one. They have only one launch pad which is suited for SpaceX rockets, repairing the damaged one is a time taking process & other launch pads are preoccupied.
Apart from this, the specific launch pad has been renovated by SpaceX to meet their requirements, so it’s near to impossible to build a new one in short time. Musk has already stated that if the Falcon heavy crosses the launchpad without damaging it, that itself would consider it as a win.
Time Of Launch
The launch is expected to be done on Feb 6th from 1:30 PM to 4 PM ET but it may be changed, depends on a lot of factors like technical issues or weather fluctuations. So if everything is perfect, we can expect the launch at that time or else will be pushed to a couple of days.
You can watch the launch live here