SpaceX, Elon Musk’s company, founder and CEO of Tesla, on February 6th, after several delays during the day, launched the super heavy rocket-carrier Falcon Heavy from the Kennedy Space Center.
Falcon Heavy is the largest designed rocket with at least twice the load of similar rockets, which should be a big step forward in the ambitious plan for people in the near future to step on the surface of Mars.
The rocket is 70m high. The Falcon Heavy is essentially three smaller, Falcon 9 rockets strapped together, adding up to a total of 27 engines.
It can carry twice as much cargo from the United Launch Alliance – Delta 4 heavy rocket, at a much lower cost – about $ 90 million for launch, compared with $ 350 million for its competitor.
The great advantage of this rocket is that the two smaller, first-level rockets, have the ability to return to Earth and to be re-used. Before SpaceX came along, companies just discarded rockets after each mission, and now they are able to land on the ground in only a few dozen meters from each other.
The Falcon Heavy is not the most powerful rocket in history. That honor belongs to NASA’s Saturn V rocket, which was used for the Apollo moon landings and was retired in the 1970s.