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SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket is ready to launch

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket is ready to launch”

Elon Musk's " until the Falcon Heavy launch is now looking like it'll be closer to two weeks.

SpaceNews reported that although Musk did not reveal a time for the launch, SpaceX has reserved a three-hour launch window opening at 20:30 South African time.

Falcon Heavy will carry a used Tesla-built Roadster sports auto as a payload and attempt to bring the vehicle into heliocentric orbit as part of the rocket's inaugural test launch.

The Falcon Heavy rocket consists of 3 Falcon 9 first stages, and each Falcon 9 rocket is powered by 9 Merlin engines.

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However, Musk has often said that Falcon Heavy could fail - as in, explode.

Set to be the nightcap of relatively slow January for SpaceX, the rocket company is nearing the end of preparations for the launch of a communications satellite co-owned by SES and the government of Luxembourg, known as GovSat-1/SES-16. "Easy viewing from the public causeway", Musk tweeted Saturday afternoon. Informing everyone about the maiden Falcon Heavy flight Elon Musk took to Tweeter and said, "Aiming for first flight of Falcon Heavy on February 6 from Apollo launchpad 39A at Cape Kennedy". Educated estimates place the number of reused launches at around five between February and April 2018, six if Falcon Heavy is included (both side boosters are flight-proven).

SpaceX advertises that the Falcon Heavy will be able to lift 140,660 pounds of cargo to low-Earth orbit, 37,040 pounds to Mars, and 7,720 pounds to Pluto. But if there are delays beyond that, all bets are off - the federal government is now funded through February 8, and a government shutdown could stall the launch, since the US Air Force must oversee rocket launches from Cape Canaveral. "I encourage people to come down to the Cape and see the first Falcon Heavy mission". According to Spaceflight.com, the launch time is not driven by orbital mechanics as the Falcon Heavy booster will fly without an operational payload.

The Tesla will be mounted inside the Falcon Heavy's upper covering and will boost into a heliocentric orbit around the sun on trajectory as far away as the orbit of Mars.

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Falcon Heavy's design is based in part on SpaceX's go-to rocket, called Falcon 9.

When asked on Twitter why he wanted to throw away a $100,000 vehicle, he replied, "I love the thought of a auto drifting apparently endlessly through space and perhaps being discovered by an alien race millions of years in the future". Given that, it is safe to consider that the LC-39A launch pad had handled the pressures of Saturn V and Space Shuttle launches beforehand.

The launch will be like three normal SpaceX launches happening simultaneously.

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