SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket now due to launch in spring 2016

It appears that SpaceX's Falcon Heavy, a large rocket that has been in the planning stages for several years following a number of delays, may finally see lift-off come 2016. At an aeronautics conference last week in Pasadena, Lee Rosen, SpaceX's vice president of mission and launch operations, mentioned that they are planning for a launch window between late April and early May of next year. Currently they are nearing completion on renovations of the rocket's launch pad.

The Falcon Heavy's last scheduled launch was for earlier this year, but the failed attempt at launching a Falcon 9 rocket in early summer caused yet another delay. The Falcon Heavy is described as basically being three Falcon 9 rockets connected together. It is capable of taking 53,000kg (115,000 pounds) into low orbit, and in terms of power comes only behind NASA's Saturn V rocket.

SpaceX shared a rendered video back in January demonstrating a successful launch process. Should everything go off without a hitch, SpaceX will have the stage one rocket boosters land back on Earth after launch.

The Spring launch of Falcon Heavy will be just a demonstration, without any payload. The next launch will be in September 2016 for the US Air Force, carrying 37 satellites into space. The launch will be taking place at the Kennedy Space Center, with renovations to the pad to be finished in November.

SOURCE Space News