Elon Musk is not one to shy away from media or controversy if it means pushing his dreams forward. That has been true with Tesla and even The Boring Company and while SpaceX has enjoyed a good amount of success, there are still naysayers just waiting for him to fail. They might have their chance in about three months, when SpaceX makes its first attempt to launch a Falcon Heavy rocket. Amusingly, Musk himself seems almost prepared for that as well.
SpaceX has already managed to launch and land several Falcon 9 rockets and was even able to do one just 2 days apart. Those, however, might be a walk in the park compared to the Falcon Heavy plan, which is the practical equivalent of landing three Falcon 9s.
That’s because the Falcon Heavy does practically use three Falcon 9s. Specifically, it has three rocket cores with almost the same specs as a Falcon 9, each with 9 Merlin engines. And, since SpaceX’s ultimate goal is rocket reusability, it has to land all three safely as well.
In a short video clip posted on his Instagram account, Musk showed how the company hopes things will go down, or up, when the Falcon Heavy does launch. The two cores that act as boosters detach once the rocket reaches a certain height and the two make their way first down to Terra Firma. Once the Heavy’s payload has been deployed, the third rocket will similarly navigate back to the launchpad for a safe landing.
That is, presuming everything goes right. The numbers do almost seem to be stacked against SpaceX. Musk shares that the Falcon Heavy has twice the thrust of the next largest, currently flying rocket. The three cores together generate as much as 2.3 million kg or 5 million lbs. of thrust at lift-off. Musk himself says that a lot can go wrong when it launches in November, though SpaceX has also proven more than once that it could succeed even when it didn’t plan on succeeding.
SOURCE: Elon Musk