The ground will shake and the air will come alive with a fiery thunder if all goes well with SpaceX’s launch attempt scheduled for Tuesday, February 6. The Falcon Heavy, ready to break records as the most powerful rocket launching from Earth, has a launch window between 1:30pm and 4:30pm ET. This demonstration flight of the monster rocket will attempt to place a Tesla Roadster on an Earth escape trajectory into a helocentric orbit. The heavy-lift rocket is formed with three Falcon 9 rocket cores strapped together with 27 Merlin 1D engines firing at liftoff.
The Falcon Heavy is a reusable super heavy-lift launch vehicle being designed and manufacturerd by Elon Musk’s SpaceX. The Falcon Heavy, previously known as the Falcon 9 Heavy, is a variant of the existing Falcon 9 launch vehicle. Currently, the Falcon 9 is used to carry various objects into space, ranging from communication satellites to the Dragon cargo craft that resupplies the International Space Station. Falcon Heavy was designed from the outset to carry humans into space and would enable crewed missions to the Moon or Mars.
The Falcon Heavy’s 27 engines provide more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff, making it the most powerful rocket launched today. According to SpaceX, by comparison, the liftoff thrust of the Falcon Heavy equals approximately eighteen 747 aircraft at full power. Only the Saturn V moon rocket, last flown in 1973, delivered more payload potential to orbit than Falcon Heavy.