SpaceX's first Falcon Heavy rocket launch scheduled for 6 February

Elon Musk's " until the Falcon Heavy launch is now looking like it'll be closer to two weeks. Although Musk did not inform about the exact launch time of the Falcon heavy, Space X has planned a three-hour launch window that opens at 1:30 p.m. EST (1830 GMT).

News of the Falcon Heavy's hoped-for launch date comes days after the rocket's successful test on Wednesday, at Cape Canaveral.

Somewhat sadly, the inherent engineering limits of older versions of Falcon 9 and the imminent introduction of Block 5 mean that SpaceX has less and less of a need to recover flight proven boosters that have no hope of being cost-effectively refurbished and conducting additional flights. The company says the Falcon Heavy has more lift capacity than any US launch since the last Saturn V in the 1970s.

The company unveiled the Falcon Heavy rocket in December.

The rocket's maiden flight was first supposed to happen in 2013-then early 2016, and then a bunch more hoped-for launch dates through 2016 and 2017. "Easy viewing from the public causeway", Musk tweeted Saturday afternoon. At that time, Musk said the launch would take place "in a week or so".

"Aiming for first flight of Falcon Heavy on Feb 6 from Apollo launchpad 39A at Cape Kennedy".

The static fire was extended to probably ensure that the rocket can safely and precisely ignite all of the 27 engines.

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The U.S. Air Force also plans to use a Falcon Heavy to launch a payload dubbed STP-2, which will include some weather forecasting satellites, later this year.

The 70m-tall Falcon Heavy is created to put up to a maximum of 64 tonnes in low-Earth orbit, although in reality it will be rare that the vehicle lofts this much mass.

The Falcon Heavy has been in the works for several years now and has seen more than a few delays.

The Falcon Heavy's first passenger will be Musk's own red sports auto. "And if he can demonstrate Falcon Heavy, it makes the Mars mission that more credible." said consultant Peluso.

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.

"I love the thought of a vehicle drifting apparently endlessly through space and perhaps being discovered by an alien race millions of years in the future", Musk replied when asked on Twitter why he wanted to throw away a $100,000 electric sportscar. During the first launch, Falcon Heavy's engines will be throttled to 92 percent of full power. 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. A SpaceX rocket has failed to launch once.

  • Megan Austin