Interactive graphic shows specifications of the Falcon Heavy.
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SPACE

World’s most powerful rocket debut flight

By Ben Mullins

January 31, 2018 - SpaceX is planning to attempt the first launch of its Falcon Heavy rocket within the next few weeks. With 27 engines generating five million pounds of thrust at liftoff, the triple-core booster will be the world’s most powerful launch vehicle. The long-delayed inaugural launch is a demonstration mission without a paying customer.

In December, the company’s chief executive Elon Musk announced the rocket would carry his own Tesla Roadster sports car on a trajectory that would take it past the planet Mars. The Falcon Heavy will be “the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two,” according to SpaceX.

Before launch, the Falcon Heavy will perform a critical Static Fire test. A staggered start sequence will see all 27 Merlin 1D engines ignited together.

Once the static fire is complete, data will be reviewed to determine whether a second static fire is necessary before proceeding into the launch campaign.

PUBLISHED: 19/01/2018; STORY: Graphic News
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