SpaceX has finished testing the first stage cores for its Falcon Heavy rocket, according to a tweet on 1 September. Elon Musk, the space-faring company’s CEO, plans to launch the Falcon Heavy rocket this November, and this marks the last of three first stage cores for the megalithic vessel.
The first stage cores are the sections of the Falcon rocket that will actually ignite, launching the vessel into space. The tweet confirms that all three first stage cores have completed testing, and confirms an explosive video of a static test of one of the cores. The first static test of the Falcon Heavy’s main core occurred in May.
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) September 2, 2017
The Falcon Heavy dwarfs the smaller Falcon 9 rockets that have become a sort of trademark for SpaceX, consisting of three of the Falcon 9 rockets strapped together. Conjoined at their figurative hips, the combined thrust increases SpaceX’s payload capacity to 140,000 lbs. This will bring us closer to a spacecraft capable of transferring humans to Mars.
In order to get there in one trip, we need a landing craft either carrying or capable of making fuel for the return-trip Mars launch, as well as supplies for astronauts and of course the humans themselves. SpaceX intends to recover the three first stage boosters by landing them on terra firma, much like the Falcon 9 rockets.
Unfortunately, the Falcon Heavy has faced several delays. Musk originally stated in 2011 that it would fly by 2013, but that didn’t happen. Four years later, we’re now waiting in fervent anticipation for a launch this November.
Here’s to a successful and smooth ride to a November 2017 launch.