Falcon Heavy

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Falcon Heavy
heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle made by SpaceX
Arabsat-6A Mission (40628442293).jpg
SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket lifts off from Kennedy Space Center LC-39A with the Arabsat-6A satellite (April 2019).
Has useOrbital heavy-lift launch vehicle
Country of originUnited States
Cost per launch
  • Reusable: $90M[1]
  • Expendable: $150M[2]
Height70 m (230 ft)[3]
Diameter3.66 m (12.0 ft)[3]
Width12.2 m (40 ft)[3]
Mass1,420,788 kg (3,132,301 lb)[3]
Payload to LEO (28.5°)
Mass63,800 kg (140,700 lb)[3]
Payload to GTO (27°)
Mass26,700 kg (58,900 lb)[3]
Payload to Mars
Mass16,800 kg (37,000 lb)[3]
Payload to Pluto
Mass3,500 kg (7,700 lb)[3]
Associated rockets
FamilyFalcon 9
Launch history
Launch sites
Total launches3
Landings7 cores landed / 9 attempted
First flightFebruary 6, 2018
No. boosters2
  • 70 metre Edit this on Wikidata
  • 3.66 metre Edit this on Wikidata
  • 12.2 metre Edit this on Wikidata
Powered by9 Merlin 1D per booster
Maximum thrustSea level: 7.6 MN (1,700,000 lbf) (each)
Vacuum: 8.2 MN (1,800,000 lbf) (each)
Total thrustSea level: 15.2 MN (3,400,000 lbf)
Vacuum: 16.4 MN (3,700,000 lbf)
Specific impulseSea level: 282 seconds[4]
Vacuum: 311 seconds[5]
Burn time154 seconds
PropellantSubcooled LOX / Chilled RP-1[6]
First stage
  • 70 metre Edit this on Wikidata
  • 3.66 metre Edit this on Wikidata
  • 12.2 metre Edit this on Wikidata
Powered by9 Merlin 1D
Maximum thrustSea level: 7.6 MN (1,700,000 lbf)
Vacuum: 8.2 MN (1,800,000 lbf)
Specific impulseSea level: 282 seconds
Vacuum: 311 seconds
Burn time187 seconds
PropellantSubcooled LOX / Chilled RP-1
Second stage
  • 70 metre Edit this on Wikidata
  • 3.66 metre Edit this on Wikidata
  • 12.2 metre Edit this on Wikidata
Powered by1 Merlin 1D Vacuum
Maximum thrust934 kN (210,000 lbf)[3]
Specific impulse348 seconds[3]
Burn time397 seconds[3]
PropellantLOX / RP-1

Falcon Heavy is a reusable heavy-lift launch vehicle designed and made by SpaceX. It is inspired from the Falcon 9 vehicle. This increases the low Earth orbit (LEO) maximum payload to 63,800 kilograms (140,700 pounds), compared to 22,800 kilograms (50,300 pounds) for a Falcon 9 Full Thrust, 28,790 kilograms (63,470 pounds) for Delta IV Heavy, 27,500 kilograms (60,600 pounds) for the Space Shuttle and 140,000 kilograms (310,000 pounds) for Saturn V. Falcon Heavy is the world's fourth-highest capacity rocket ever built, after Saturn V, Energia and N1, and the most powerful rocket in operation as of 2020.[7] SpaceX conducted Falcon Heavy's first launch on February 6, 2018, at 3:45 p.m. EST (20:45 UTC).[8][9] The rocket carried a Tesla Roadster belonging to SpaceX founder Elon Musk as a dummy payload into a path around the sun.[10][11] The first commercial launch was on 11 April 2019, for Arabsat.[12] It was a success.

Falcon Heavy was designed to carry humans into space, for example to the Moon and Mars, although as of February 2018, it is not certified and there are no plans to use it for crewed missions. It will instead be devoted to launching large satellites or space probes.[13] Falcon Heavy would be replaced by Starship.

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Capabilities & Services". SpaceX. 2017. Archived from the original on October 7, 2013. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  2. Sheetz, Michael (February 12, 2018). "Elon Musk says the new SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket crushes its competition on cost". CNBC. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 "Falcon Heavy". SpaceX. 2012-11-16. Archived from the original on 2020-05-19. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  4. "Falcon 9". SpaceX. 2012-11-16. Archived from the original on May 1, 2013. Retrieved September 29, 2013.
  5. Ahmad, Taseer; Ammar, Ahmed; Kamara, Ahmed; Lim, Gabriel; Magowan, Caitlin; Todorova, Blaga; Tse, Yee Cheung; White, Tom. "The Mars Society Inspiration Mars International Student Design Competition" (PDF). Mars Society. Retrieved October 24, 2015.
  6. Musk, Elon [@elonmusk] (December 17, 2015). "-340 F in this case. Deep cryo increases density and amplifies rocket performance. First time anyone has gone this low for O2. [RP-1 chilled] from 70F to 20 F" (Tweet). Retrieved December 19, 2015 – via Twitter.
  7. Wattles, Jackie. "SpaceX Falcon Heavy: Everything you need to know". Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  8. "SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch successful". CBS News. February 6, 2018.
  9. "Launch Calendar - SpaceFlight Insider". www.spaceflightinsider.com. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
  10. Musk, Elon [@elonmusk] (December 1, 2017). "Falcon Heavy to launch next month from Apollo 11 pad at the Cape. Will have double thrust of next largest rocket. Guaranteed to be exciting, one way or another" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  11. "Elon Musk's huge Falcon Heavy rocket set for launch". BBC. February 6, 2018. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
  12. Clark, Stephen (11 April 2019). "SpaceX's Falcon Heavy successful in commercial debut – Spaceflight Now". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  13. Pasztor, Andy. "Elon Musk Says SpaceX's New Falcon Heavy Rocket Unlikely to Carry Astronauts". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved February 6, 2018.

Other websites[change | change source]

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy overview page Archived 2020-02-28 at the Wayback Machine