DEC 04, 2017 6:46 AM PST

Elon Musk Reveals Plans for Falcon Heavy's Maiden Flight

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Anyone who follows Elon Musk knows he often uses Twitter to summarize his plans for SpaceX, Tesla, and his other ventures. Recently, Musk Tweeted about SpaceX, underscoring some exciting near-future plans for his commercial space company.

An artist's rendition of SpaceX's upcoming Falcon Heavy rocket mid-launch.

Image Credit: SpaceX/Elon Musk/Instagram

In the spotlight of Musk’s most recent SpaceX-themed Tweets were upcoming plans concerning the Falcon Heavy rocket. For those unaware, Falcon Heavy is a heavy-lifting behemoth that looks a lot like three Falcon 9 boosters strapped together, as shown above.

As it would seem, SpaceX is currently preparing a Falcon Heavy rocket for its maiden flight “next month,” and it will take off from the same Cape Canaveral-based launch pad that Apollo 11 did more than four decades ago. Worthy of note, Falcon Heavy was supposed to launch in November, but those plans got scrubbed.

Musk isn’t entirely sure whether the Falcon Heavy will see a successful launch or not, but he goes on to say how the event is “guaranteed to be exciting, one way or another.”

Related: Watch SpaceX test-fire the Falcon Heavy's engines

The worst-case scenario is that Falcon Heavy could blow up right before launching, which would level the launch pad even more catastrophically than the recent Falcon 9 mishap since there's more rocket fuel involved this time around. Another possibility is that the Falcon Heavy rocket could explode in mid-air, just after taking off and right before reaching space.

If that total uncertainty isn’t exciting enough to raise the hairs on the back of your neck, then just wait until you learn about the payload Musk intends to pack into the Falcon Heavy's storage quarters:

It’s a bit unorthodox for space travel, but one of Tesla’s midnight cherry Roadsters – the newly-unveiled electric supercar capable of 0-100 kilometers per hour in just 1.9 seconds – could make it into space. And to make things even more interesting, Musk plans to send it into orbit around Mars.

If you've never seen a Tesla Roadster before, then prepare to feast your eyes:

Related: SpaceX wants to launch Falcon 9 rockets every couple of weeks

Whether you love or hate SpaceX, this is a show worth watching. Either the Falcon Heavy will blow up (taking its payload with it) as it ascends or it will set history by ferrying the first electric supercar car to Mars.

Assuming everything goes according to plan, all three Falcon Heavy boosters will return to Earth to make controlled upright landings so they can get refurbished and reused for future Falcon Heavy launches.

Given just how complicated the next-generation rocket system is, the level of uncertainty surrounding the launch isn't surprising. Nevertheless, it's imperative to test and perfect the Falcon Heavy rocket system if we want any chance at sending astronauts to Mars within the next several decades.

Are you excited to see how the launch goes? We know we are.

Source: Elon Musk (1), (2), (3) via Space.com

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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