Tuesday, April 5, 2011
SpaceX Announces Most Powerful Rocket Since Saturn 5
Today its the announcement that his firm, SpaceX will be launching the test flight of the Falcon Heavy in 2012.
The Falcon Heavy will lift over 53 metric tons (117,000+ pounds) into low earth orbit. This is more than twice what the Shuttle could carry and it will do it at 1/10th the cost--approaching the magical $1,000 per pound to place an object in orbit.
This is no mere cargo carrier though. It has been built with not only safety in mind with numerous redundant systems--able to complete its mission in spite of the failure of multiple engines and compartmentalized, protected engines that would contain fires or compartment ruptures from affecting the other parts of the rocket. The Falcon Heavy also meets NASA's standards for human safety going FAR above and beyond any requirements for non-living payloads.
Get the feeling Mr. Musk is looking down the line? Me too...Even in its initial press release it mentions its capability for carrying interplanetary spacecraft.
Watch the Heavy Falcon video and get more info here:http://spacex.com/multimedia/videos.php?id=59