SpaceX now hitting headlines by its new big rocket the Falcon Heavy. Almost after four years, the company revealed the vehicle may be finally getting ready for its maiden voyage. This week, the company conducted its first test with a successful result of Falcon Heavy.
SpaceX took to Twitter to release the video of the event. The video shows the Falcon Heavy’s main core going through its first major static fire test, which ignites the booster’s engines while the vehicle is strapped down.
The rocket itself was strapped down for the static fire test as the engines of the rocket’s boosters were ignited.
First static fire test of a Falcon Heavy center core completed at our McGregor, TX rocket development facility last week. pic.twitter.com/tHUHc1QiKG
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) May 9, 2017
Basically, the Falcon Heavy is a souped-up version of SpaceX’s flagship Falcon 9 rocket. It consists of three Falcon 9 cores strapped together. This gives the rocket more thrust than the Falcon 9 by enabling the larger rocket to carry more than 140,000 pounds into lower Earth orbit and even 37,000 pounds on to Mars.
At this instant, the Falcon 9 can get a little more than 50,000 pounds to lower Earth orbit. The company is planning to use the Falcom Heavy to carry space travelers as early as next year.
CEO Elon Musk said, “The two cores of Falcon Heavy is similar to the cores of Falcon 9. But the middle core strengthens and consist of additional hardware. The alterations are needed to help support the addition of outer cores. So while the Falcon Heavy’s core is very similar to the Falcon 9, it’s still slightly different, and this seems to be the first major test of the core that’s going to fly. Of course, the main engines and fuel tanks are basically the same as those in the Falcon 9, so it’s not that radical of a test.”
Still, it’s good news for SpaceX fans who have been waiting to see the Falcon Heavy fly for a while now. The company is planning to send two private citizens into orbit around the Moon by late 2018.
It will buzz low over the Moon’s surface. Thus, it will not land, and allow the Moon’s gravity to fling it back to Earth.