For the first time since 2019, Elon Musk’s American company, SpaceX, launched its Falcon Heavy launcher last Tuesday. Regarded as the most powerful operational rocket in the world (to date), the Falcon Heavy launched from Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center, Florida at approximately 9:40 am US time. Here is some information to remember about this long-awaited launch carried out by the company SpaceX on Tuesday, 1er November 2022.
A successful launch
After its last flight three years ago, the Falcon Heavy was launched by the company SpaceX led by Elon Musk. As a reminder, during its first flight, the Falcon Heavy rocket carried SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s car🇧🇷 This was during a test carried out in 2018. For the flight of the 1er last November was Falcon Heavy’s third commercial and operational flight. The last one took place in June 2019.
This time, the Falcon Heavy rocket lifted off from Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on a mission called USSF-44. For this mission, it carries cargo belonging to the US Space Force, including a satellite named TETRA 1. The launch was a success, as about two and a half minutes after liftoff, the rocket’s two boosters separated from the main booster. About 8 minutes later, they landed correctly, not far from the launch pad.🇧🇷 On the other hand, the central floor will not be recovered.
The Falcon Heavy while waiting for the Starship
After a successful launch of the powerful Falcon Heavy rocket, SpaceX engineers and its CEO named Elon Musk are now focused on their next goal. In fact, parallel to the development of the Falcon Heavy, SpaceX is also developing the Starship, another rocket even more powerful than the previous one. This future rocket will consist of a vessel mounted on a first stage and will be called Super Heavy. However, she has yet to fly in her full form. Only the craft has made suborbital test flights, most of which ended in impressive explosions.🇧🇷 However, this did not dampen the ardor of Elon Musk, who continued to employ whatever means necessary to achieve his goals.
NASA has also chosen SpaceX’s Starship rocket to transport and land its astronauts on the Moon as part of the Artemis 3 mission. This mission will take place no earlier than 2025. In terms of thrust, this Super Heavy will be the most powerful rocket to have ever flown when it takes off. . In fact, the thrust of this rocket could reach up to 17 million pounds at launch. As an indication, this thrust will be three times more powerful than that of the Falcon Heavy.
Until then, NASA will have to use its own heavy launcher called the SLS to take its astronauts into lunar orbit. This rocket has been in development for over a decade and NASA expects it to be more powerful than SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket.🇧🇷 Canceled at the last minute twice, on 29 August and 3 September, the first takeoff of the SLS was delayed. However, according to the latest news, NASA is planning to launch it on November 14th or at the latest in December.
A rocket that goes beyond the Falcon 9
With this powerful Falcon Heavy, SpaceX now has two fully operational rockets:
- The Falcon 9;
- The Heavy Falcon.
The first, which is also the most used, is the Falcon 9. It is mainly used to transport NASA astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). This rocket is also sometimes used to launch satellites for Starlink, the SpaceX constellation that provides Internet from space. This constellation allows, for example, to maintain a stable Internet connection in Ukraine, despite the war.
The second rocket is therefore the Falcon Heavy which is currently considered (and arguably) the most powerful operational rocket in the world. Its main thruster is the Falcon 9 rocket, and the two additional thrusters attached to each side of the core are also from that same rocket.
Thanks to its power and weight, the Falcon Heavy is used to launch much heavier loads or greater distances. In particular, it is capable of carrying around 64 tonnes in low orbit and up to 27 tonnes in geostationary transfer orbit.
In addition, even before this launch, NASA has already selected the Falcon Heavy for another US Space Force mission that will take place later this year.🇧🇷 This next mission will likely consist of delivering components for the Gateway Station, NASA’s future space station that will be placed in orbit around the Moon.
With the successful launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket, the company SpaceX, led by Elon Musk, intends to extend its dominance of space in the coming years.