Drone footage reveals SpaceX's mighty Falcon Heavy ready for demonstration test

Drone footage reveals SpaceX's mighty Falcon Heavy ready for demonstration test

Drone footage reveals SpaceX's mighty Falcon Heavy ready for demonstration test

Apart from the highly secretive Zuma launch, SpaceX also has its Falcon Heavy test scheduled to take off from Cape Canaveral in later January. It's not there just for its pretty looks.

Musk said last month that a Tesla Roadster would serve as the payload on the vehicle when it's launched, according to SpaceNews. And according to Musk, the auto will be playing David Bowie's "Space Oddity". We're still several months away from the ideal Mars transfer window, and the second stage isn't created to insert the payload into orbit of another planet (you'd need a separate rocket package for the auto payload).

Others shared on Twitter this week show the Falcon Heavy standing tall on the launchpad at the Kennedy Space Center. The left and right boosters are standard Falcon 9 rockets, but the center unit has been reinforced where the side boosters attach. There's now no telling where the satellite will be going after lift-off although it's somewhere in low-Earth orbit.

If the unmanned launch is successful, SpaceX will be the first commercial company to launch such a powerful rocket.

Quite frankly, the intense aerodynamic forces present at the point of side booster separation mean that it is entirely possible that they may not survive, and could even be drawn back in to impact the center core, an eventuality that would likely bring the mission to a premature end.

"With more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff-equal to approximately eighteen 747 aircraft at full power-Falcon Heavy will be the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two", SpaceX tweeted on Tuesday night.

More than half of the launches came from a single company - SpaceX - which launched its Falcon 9 rocket a total of 18 times over the course of the year. Yes, SpaceX really is using a vehicle as dead weight for this launch.

Once Zuma is on its way to orbit, part of the reusable rocket will fly back down to Earth, landing on a pad in Cape Canaveral, Florida around 10 minutes later.

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