The Falcon Heavy rocket could lift off as early as February 6, 2018. The date got numerous times postponed but it is set for just a little bit over a week from now. Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, announced the first official target launch date this Saturday.
Falcon Heavy is already assembled and standing at Kennedy Space Centers Launch Complex 39A, which SpaceX signed a 20-year lease for in 2014. The pad, which used to launch Space Shuttles into orbit, was modified by SpaceX to accompany the Falcon9 and Falcon Heavy rockets.
So far the rocket underwent numerous tests including a static fire test on Wednesday, January 24, 2018. In this test, all 27 Merlin 1D engines of the first stage are fired for a short amount of time while the rocket is hold down by restraints to stop it from lifting off.
Falcon Heavy uses 3 Falcon9 rockets as its first stage and will be the most powerful operational rocket when it lifts off. All 27 Merlin engines will generate more than 5 million pounds of thrust, which is equal to about eighteen 747 jumbo jets.
The launch time will be 1:30 p.m. EST. SpaceX has set a 3-hour window each day for the launch of the rocket. This is not due orbital mechanics, rather than the most favorable time of the workday for the SpaceX launch team.
Falcon Heavy will lift off without any operational payload. It will have instead one of Elon Musk’s used Tesla Roadstars mounted inside the upper rocket. Elon Musk is also the founder of the electric car company Tesla.
I am very excited and hope they can keep the launch date of February 6, 2018, as I try to be close by to witness it first hand. Previously I got the chance to watch the launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket heading to the International Space Station for a resupply mission.
More information of the Falcon Heavy can be found by clicking the button below.