Musk releases pictures of assembled Falcon Heavy in hanger


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Falcon Heavy in hanger

Capitalism in space: Elon Musk today tweeted several pictures of the Falcon Heavy rocket, assembled in its hanger at Cape Canaveral and awaiting roll out for its first static fire tests on the launchpad.

As I will have nothing to do with Twitter, I must thank reader Michael Phillips for emailing me the photos. The one of the right I think shows the most detail. Note that the two side stages are previously flown Falcon 9 first stages. Only the central core has not flown before. According to previous reports, it required significant redesign to work in this configuration.

There is as yet no word on exactly when the roll out and launchpad static fire tests will take place, but all indications suggest it will be very soon. Whether the launch itself will follow several weeks later, as the link above says and has been stated many times by SpaceX, is more questionable. Remember, they have never fired all 27 engines of the threefold first stage at the same time. I am expecting that they will need time to review the data from that static fire test. I would be very surprised if their analysis and any changes it calls for will be doable in only a few weeks.

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7 comments

  • Chris

    Maybe a future history book (or whatever the new medium will be) cover.

  • Localfluff

    Did they have that flag there before election day, when they shifted lobby and propaganda strategy from climate doomsday to made in the USA?

  • Phill O

    It would be very interesting to compare the vibration data for this with that of the Saturn 5 rocket. I would suspect that this would be much smother, but that is just a guess.

  • Diane Wilson

    I expect this will fly sooner rather than later. They’ve talked about a possible second static fire test, if needed; if that turns out to be the plan, the first static fire would probably be very short duration, figuring out how to light that many engines in rapid sequence, then shutting down.

    But Musk has also talked about how they’ve run into a wall in modeling engine and flight dynamics for the Heavy; it’s going to have to fly to give them all the data they need. I expect they’ll launch as soon as they’re reasonably sure that it won’t blow up on the pad.

  • ken anthony

    This is their first interplanetary rocket. 16,800 kg to mars. 3,500 kg to pluto.

    I’d love to see a launch in person.

  • Matt in AZ

    Ken – great point! New Horizons was only 478kg. Now if only we could start mass-producing probes for the outer solar system…

  • ken anthony

    Matt, Such a good idea would be fought by the SLS supporters.

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