SpaceX’s Rocket Designed to Eventually Bring Humans to Mars Won’t Launch This Year

After many delays, the concedes that it’s delaying the Falcon Heavy’s launch until 2018.

Share on
BY Kevin J. Ryan - 02 Dec 2017

SpaceX's Rocket Designed to Eventually Bring Humans to Mars Won't Launch This Year

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

SpaceX is moving closer to launching its biggest rocket ever.

Elon Musk's has said throughout 2017 that this would be the year it launches the Falcon Heavy, the most powerful rocket it's built to date. With only a month to go, the firm has conceded that won't happen, according to Aviation Week, which first reported the news.

SpaceX told Engadget that it's on track to launch the rocket within the first few weeks of 2018. And it plans to run a test of the rocket's 27 Merlin engines before the end of this year, firing them all simultaneously for the first time.

The 27 engines that power the Falcon Heavy represent a three-fold increase over the Falcon 9, the rocket that SpaceX has been using for launches in recent years. As of now, the Falcon 9 is the most powerful rocket the has launched.

When Musk first unveiled his plans for the Heavy in 2011, he projected the first test flight to take place in 2013. In typical Musk fashion, that deadline proved far too ambitious.

The Falcon Heavy will produce 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff, or the equivalent of about eighteen 747s. It would be the most powerful rocket since the Saturn V used to send astronauts to the moon during the Apollo missions.

SpaceX says it will be capable of launching twice the payload of the second most capable rocket any currently has in operation, the United Launch Alliance's Delta IV Heavy (built through a partnership between Lockheed Martin and Boeing). SpaceX says its rocket will also operate at one-third the cost of the Delta, thanks in large part to much of the technology being reusable. The estimates the cost of a Heavy launch at $90 million.

Musk has said that the rocket will eventually be used to carry humans to the moon and Mars. SpaceX is yet to send any humans into space.

First, though, the Heavy will likely carry heavy satellites and unmanned space craft. The currently has four launches of the Heavy on its manifest, including two launches in partnership with satellite inc-aseann.companies and one with the U.S. Air Force.

Eventually, Musk says he plans to build the BFR (short for "big f*cking rocket"), which would be capable of carrying around 100 passengers at a time for the purpose of building a permanent civilization on Mars. That rocket, as described by the entrepreneur, would be the most powerful ever built.

Musk has blamed the Falcon Heavy's delays on the development process being "way, way more difficult" than SpaceX expected. At the International Space Station R&D conference in July, he tempered expectations for the rocket's first launch. "There's a real good chance that it does not make it to orbit," he said. "I hope it gets far enough away from the launch pad that it does not cause pad damage--I would consider that a win."

                1. 3787481485 2018-04-20
                2. 6425061484 2018-04-20
                3. 4005541483 2018-04-20
                4. 7835801482 2018-04-20
                5. 9624301481 2018-04-20
                6. 2498271480 2018-04-19
                7. 1138741479 2018-04-19
                8. 9066701478 2018-04-19
                9. 7776321477 2018-04-19
                10. 1276121476 2018-04-19
                11. 8447211475 2018-04-19
                12. 6553861474 2018-04-19
                13. 183401473 2018-04-19
                14. 4196831472 2018-04-18
                15. 384741471 2018-04-18
                16. 4467571470 2018-04-18
                17. 9589191469 2018-04-18
                18. 2807321468 2018-04-18
                19. 3044741467 2018-04-18
                20. 7557051466 2018-04-18
                21. cheap jerseys | wholesale jerseys |