SpaceX Launches Powerful Falcon Heavy Rocket for the First Time (Download PDF)


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SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket took off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center carrying its payload red Tesla Roadster into orbit finally landing into the ocean. Two of the Falcon Heavy’s rocket cores successfully touched down back on Earth after takeoff.

SpaceX Launches Powerful Falcon Heavy Rocket for the First Time

SpaceX Launches Powerful Falcon Heavy Rocket for the First Time

SpaceX Launches Powerful Falcon Heavy Rocket for the First Time

  • The two outer boosters broke away mid-flight and returned to the Cape, touching down around 1, 000 feet from one another on SpaceX’s concrete landing pads.

Key Facts

  • SpaceX has now landed 23 rockets upright.

  • The rocket, Falcon Heavy, has the force of eighteen 747 jetliners

  • Elon Musk is the CEO of SpaceX.

  • SpaceX first announced plans to develop the Falcon Heavy back in 2011, with the goal of launching it as early as 2013 or 2014.

  • Two failures of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 pushed the launch even further out than planned.

  • The first mission was simply meant to see if the Falcon Heavy could put objects into orbit.

  • CEO’s Tesla Roadster carrying a spacesuit-clad mannequin in the driver’s seat was the payload

  • The goal was to place the car on a trajectory around the Sun that would take the car near Mars’ orbit.

  • The car is now actually headed far beyond Mars. It will reach as far as the asteroid belt before being pulled back toward the Sun.

Specialties of Falcon Heavy?

  • Falcon heavy holds the title for the world’s most powerful rocket marking the first time a vehicle this massive has ever been sent up by a commercial company.

  • It has 27 engines, more than any other working rocket has ever used, which together create a combined 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff.

  • Falcon Heavy can put around 140, 000 pounds of cargo into lower Earth orbit, more than twice as much weight as any other operational rocket creating potential for:

    • launching heavy national security satellites

    • sending large modules or people into deep space.

Comparing Falcon Heavy with GSLV

  • The PSLV is a low-lift launch vehicle that can’t deploy more than 1, 400 kg of payload to the geostationary transfer orbit (GTO, 35, 786 km above sea level) Falcon Heavy can put around 63, 500 kg of cargo into lower Earth orbit

  • SpaceX has set a new pricing low based on cost-effective design, vertical integration, and high launch volume. India is a low-cost country for manufacturing, but that is not enough to beat SpaceX’s price or cost.

Plans of Falcon?

  • Scheduled to launch a large Saudi Arabian communications satellite called Arabsat 6A sometime in the first half of 2018.

  • Test payload for the US Air Force after June to certify the rocket for national security missions.

  • Falcon Heavy is contracted to launch two additional communications satellites for Inmarsat and Viasat.

  • Cheap price tag make it attractive to NASA, which could use it to send robotic missions to other worlds or humans back to the Moon.

- Published/Last Modified on: March 20, 2018

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