NEW YORK, February 7. /TASS/. US company SpaceX has successfully conducted the inaugural launch of its new super-heavy Falcon Heavy rocket from a launch pad in Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
The launch was broadcast live on the company’s website.
The rocket blasted off at 15:45 local time (23:45 Moscow time) from Cape Canaveral’s Site 39A.
Ahead of the launch, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said the rocket will carry as test payload his cherry Tesla Rodster car with a mannequin in a spacesuit. The Roadster will be put into a special orbit around the Sun that will take it close to the orbit of Mars. After that, the vehicle will remain in deep space indefinitely.
View from SpaceX Launch Control. Apparently, there is a car in orbit around Earth. pic.twitter.com/QljN2VnL1O— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 6 February 2018
Falcon Heavy was created on the basis of the Falcon 9 rocket. Three cores make up the first stage of Falcon Heavy. The side cores, or boosters, are connected to the center core at its base and at the vehicle’s interstage. Each core is fitted with nine Merlin engines. With 27 engines in total, Falcon Heavy’s three cores are capable of generating more than 2,200 tonnes (5 million pounds) of thrust.
SpaceX will attempt to land all three of Falcon Heavy’s first stage cores during this test. Following booster separation, two side cores will attempt to land at SpaceX’s Landing Zones 1 and 2 (LZ-1 and LZ-2) at Cape Canaveral. The Center core will attempt to land on a droneship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean, some 300 miles off the coast of Florida.
The two side cores used during today’s test are both flight-proven.