DEC 20, 2017 4:52 PM PST

SpaceX is Getting Excited About the Falcon Heavy Rocket

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

SpaceX is most well-known for its reusable Falcon 9 rocket, but there’s a bigger and better rocket in town, and CEO Elon Musk is getting antsy to show it off. So much so, in fact, that he shared pictures of it from his Twitter account.

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket sits in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Image Credit: SpaceX via Elon Musk

Known as Falcon Heavy, this upcoming behemoth rocket is no joke; it will be one of the most powerful rockets ever built by humankind. Theoretically, Falcon Heavy should generate enough thrust to lift 119,000 pounds into outer space from the Earth’s surface.

While it looks just like three Falcon 9 rockets strapped together, don't let its appearance fool you; a lot is going on under the hood that differentiates this beastly rocket from a puny Falcon 9.

A look at the monstrously-large engines behind Falcon Heavy.

Image Credit: SpaceX via Elon Musk

In addition to some remarkable photographs, Musk’s Tweets also reveal that the rocket currently resides in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Furthermore, we can gather that it’ll launch for the first time in early 2019 from the same NASA-owned launch pad used by the Saturn V rocket during the Apollo 11 lunar mission.

Related: Elon Musk reveals the full details about his plans to launch Falcon Heavy for the first time

While Falcon Heavy is indeed powerful, Musk notes that SpaceX will throttle the rocket’s thrust to just 92% capacity during its maiden flight. The reduced power output should provide additional stability, allowing SpaceX to monitor Falcon Heavy’s systems and ensure that everything works correctly.

Elon Musk previously admitted that even he’s not sure how the maiden launch might unfold. While SpaceX obviously wants to witness a successful launch so that they can land the three first stages for refurbishing, there’s always the possibility that the Falcon Heavy could explode before or after takeoff.

Unfortunately, these kinds of risks always exist in the face of entirely-new space travel platforms. We won’t know how stable Falcon Heavy is until SpaceX has a chance to test-launch it, and its design might need some tweaking to perfect for future space missions.

Without a doubt, Musk’s photographs show off a beautiful rocket. It should be nothing less than exciting to see how the maiden launch pans out, for better or for worse.

Source: SpaceX, Elon Musk (Twitter)

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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