SpaceX founder Elon Musk says his company will launch the world’s most powerful rocket. It is hard to confirm whether his claim is true.
He made his statement in an Instagram post, which included a video of the rocket on its launch pad. In the post he said:
Falcon Heavy now vertical on the former Apollo 11 moon rocket launchpad. At 2500 tons of thrust, equal to 18 Boeing 747 aircraft at full throttle, it will be the most powerful rocket in the world by a factor of two. Excitement on launch day guaranteed, one way or another.
Hold-down test fire next week. Launch end of the month.
At 5 a.m. Eastern, the post already had over 808,000 views.
According to SpaceX:
When Falcon Heavy lifts off in 2018, it will be the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two. With the ability to lift into orbit over 54 metric tons (119,000 lb)–a mass equivalent to a 737 jetliner loaded with passengers, crew, luggage and fuel–Falcon Heavy can lift more than twice the payload of the next closest operational vehicle, the Delta IV Heavy, at one-third the cost. Falcon Heavy draws upon the proven heritage and reliability of Falcon 9. Its first stage is composed of three Falcon 9 nine-engine cores whose 27 Merlin engines together generate more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff, equal to approximately eighteen 747 aircraft. Only the Saturn V moon rocket, last flown in 1973, delivered more payload to orbit. Falcon Heavy was designed from the outset to carry humans into space and restores the possibility of flying missions with crew to the Moon or Mars.
The mission to Mars may get another boost with the launch.