SpaceX unveils heavy launcher

2011-04-06 08:35
This artist rendering shows Space Exploration Technology's new rocket Falcon Heavy. (Space Exploration Technologies, AP)

This artist rendering shows Space Exploration Technology's new rocket Falcon Heavy. (Space Exploration Technologies, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - SpaceX unveiled what its chief executive Elon Musk has called the world's most powerful rocket, the Falcon Heavy, which will have its first demonstration flight at the end of 2012.

The launcher is designed to lift into orbit satellites or spacecraft weighing more than 53 metric tons - more than twice the capacity of the Space Shuttle or Delta IV Heavy launcher.

"Falcon Heavy will carry more payload to orbit or escape velocity than any vehicle in history, apart from the Saturn V moon rocket, which was decommissioned after the Apollo programme," Musk said at the National Press Club.

"This opens a new world of capability for both government and commercial space missions," he said.

Musk, a South African who made his fortune in the internet, created SpaceX in 2002.

Cargo transport

"Falcon Heavy will arrive at our Vandenberg, California, launch complex by the end of next year, with lift-off to follow soon thereafter. First launch from our Cape Canaveral launch complex is planned for late 2013 or 2014," he said.

His goal in the coming years is to transport cargo and astronauts for Nasa to the International Space Station after the US space shuttles are finally retired in June.

Until there is a successor to the shuttles, Nasa will depend exclusively on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft to ferry astronauts to the ISS.

SpaceX, short for Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, is one of two private companies that Nasa has contracted to transport cargo to the ISS.

To give a sense of the rocket's might: 53 metric tons is more than the top take-off weight of a loaded Boeing 737-200 with 136 passengers. So Falcon Heavy can deliver the equivalent of an entire commercial jet load of passengers, crew, luggage and fuel all the way to orbit.
Read more on:    spacex  |  space
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
5 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 

BMW drift battle: M235i vs. speedway bike

Watch this insane drift contest with four-times dirt-track World champion Karl Maier riding a speedway bike against a BMW M235i.

 
 

Men24.com

Want to start talking dirty?
Everyday struggles of naturally skinny guys
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...
How to maintain your mo, bro

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off ALL TV Series

Choose from 1000’s of the hottest TV Series . While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a strong focus on social interaction and connecting with your friends. You may have the need to expand and connect with a...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.