SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch Feb. 6 will be huge

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There’s a big, big launch coming up Feb.6 on Florida’s Space Coast, courtesy of SpaceX — one of the biggest, brightest launches in recent years.The launch, if it happens, will be like three normal SpaceX launches happening simultaneously.Literally — three SpaceX Falcon boosters will be strapped together.The company says the Falcon Heavy has more lift capacity than any U.S.launch since the last Saturn V in the 1970s.A comparable launch locally was the Delta IV Heavy that flew in June 2016, but that didn’t have nearly the lift capacity, according to SpaceX.So mark your calendar, but we can’t tell you what time it will happen yet.There’s a good chance, according to SpaceNews, that the Falcon Heavy will take off during a scheduled launch window at 1:30 p.m.Feb.6.If that’s the case, it won’t be as visible as a nighttime launch.A follow-up launch window is set for the next day.Because it is a historic first mission, the potential for scrubs or delays is very real.Eager space fans have watched closely as the rocket went vertical on the launch pad on Dec.27, and as the first big test fire of its engines filled the sky with steam clouds Wednesday.“Aiming for first flight of Falcon Heavy on Feb 6 from Apollo launchpad 39A at Cape Kennedy.Easy viewing from the public causeway,” founder and CEO Elon Musk tweeted.The heavy system is designed to carry heavier payloads into orbit and eventually take humans to Mars, with reusable vehicles that lower costs.Musk said the rocket will carry a Tesla Roadster from one of his other companies, eventually putting the car into an orbit around the sun that will bring it close to Mars.He said he wanted the payload to be “something unusual” instead of something “extremely boring,” such as concrete or steel blocks.The SpaceX launch occurs as its competitor, Blue Origin, prepares to start construction of rockets on the Space Coast for the first time at a new plant near Kennedy Space Center, further heating up the local space race.Frank DiBello, president and CEO of Space Florida, said the Falcon Heavy launch will demonstrate, more broadly, the power of the private sector to fundamentally change the way the space industry does things.Musk is not stopping with the Falcon Heavy, though.Last fall, he unveiled details on a brand-new rocket ship called the “BFR” — formerly called the Interplanetary Transport System — that could replace all of SpaceX’s current rockets.According to Musk, the BFR could carry more payload than any rocket ever, including the Saturn V.With reusable parts, it would also be the cheapest ever, and more reliable than Falcon 9 because it would land with two engines.It would be approximately 348 feet long and 30 feet in diameter and have payload capacity of around 150 tons into low-Earth orbit, compared with about 50 tons for the Falcon Heavy.

Published 2 years ago

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Tagsrocket big capacity falcon feb payload launch spacex huge heavy space orbit

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