First Falcon Heavy demo launch to include two used boosters


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The competition heats up: SpaceX plans to use two already flown first stage boosters when it does its first demo flight of Falcon Heavy later this year.

Musk said the rocket cores for Falcon Heavy’s first flight are two to three months away from completion. He emphasized that the first launch will carry a lot of risk, and as such, SpaceX doesn’t plan to carry a valuable payload or payloads with it. “We will probably fly something really silly on Falcon Heavy because it is quite a high risk mission,” he said.

SpaceX will seek to recover all the boosters from the first Falcon Heavy flight, assuming all goes according to plan. Musk said the two side boosters would land back at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, followed by the center core returning to a drone ship in the Atlantic.

They will also try to recover the upper stage, but are not hopeful this will succeed. The article also notes that they hope to fly an additional four used boosters in 2017. SES is eager to use them on its three scheduled flights this year.

The company has also said that the booster that was successfully reused this week will not fly again, but will instead be put on display in Florida.

Posted from the south rim of the Grand Canyon.

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3 comments

  • LocalFluff

    I thought that Falcon Heavy required different first stages. But that’s maybe from the cross feeding concept that has been abandoned for the time being as I understand. Having the three first stages share fuel. But pumping fuel as fast as engines burn them is hard. If they relaunch used rockets they are surely just bundled together F9s. Cool that they have the flexibility to do that!

  • Paul

    FH core is different for sure. From what I understand, side cores & normal F9 can be interchanged, currently with changing out the octoweb (engine mount).

  • LocalFluff

    SPX could launch an internet competition suggesting filling up that “silly payload” of 50 tons to orbit. I think such an idiotic stunt might actually be a great success for promoting private space flight. What do you wanna recycle for ever and ever? For $2,000 per kilogram, how could it go wrong?

    *”- Look in this binocular here my son. That dot moving up there has your baby hobbyhorse inside of it!”
    “- WOAAA! Daddy, you destroyed my rocking hobbyhorse! Bad daddy bad!! (And why would anyone want to put a rocking chair in microgravity where it cannot work, you’re a really stupid daddy too! WOAAA)”*

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