Science

Falcon Heavy rocket has launch window for Tuesday liftoff

The Falcon Heavy rocket is now the most powerful rocket since the Saturn V and can launch twice as much payload as the United Launch Alliance's Delta IV Heavy.

SpaceX's second Falcon 9 flight of the year lifted off January 31 from Cape Canaveral with GovSat 1, a US -built satellite funded by SES and the government of Luxembourg to provide secure communications for military and civil defense authorities.

This kind of recycling should reduce the cost of spaceflight because instead of just using a booster once and discarding it - like traditional launches - the Falcon Heavy's boosters can be used a few times, with potentially just the fuel being the main cost of a rocket's re-flight.

The to bring 140,660 pounds of mass to low-Earth orbit (LEO) and 58,860 pounds to Geostationary transfer orbit (GTO).

As of Sunday, the weather looks promising for the inaugural flight of SpaceX's highly anticipated Falcon Heavy rocket from Kennedy Space Center. The mission will try to prove that it is possible to put payloads into an orbit intersecting Mars.

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What really makes the Falcon Heavy stand out is SpaceX's typical flair. The side cores, or boosters, are connected at the base and at the top of the center core's liquid oxygen tank.

Each rocket has nine engines, making it 27 engines in total that need to ignite in tandem.

The rocket's central core will then separate from the main module, containing Musk's auto, and begin its own controlled descent back to Earth, landing on the firm's "Of Course I Still Love You" drone ship in the Pacific Ocean. These same engines power Falcon 9, enabling efficiencies that make Falcon Heavy the most cost-effective heavy-lift launch vehicle in the world.

WITH MORE THAN 5 MILLION POUNDS OF THRUST AT LIFTOFF, FALCON Heavy will be the most capable rocket flying. So if all goes perfectly, Falcon Heavy will fire up its 27 Merlin engines at that time, but all launches, especially a demonstration launch like this one, are subject to delays. Falcon Heavy can lift the equivalent of a fully loaded 737 jetliner-complete with passengers, luggage and fuel-to orbit.



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