Falcon Heavy is the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two. With the ability to lift into orbit nearly 64 metric tons (141,000 lb) Falcon Heavy can lift more than twice the payload of the next closest operational vehicle, the Delta IV Heavy. Falcon Heavy 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.
Facts about Falcon Heavy
- Falcon Heavy has the highest payload capacity of any currently operational launch vehicle.
- It has the third-highest capacity of any rocket ever to reach orbit, trailing the Saturn V and Energia.
- In the first demo mission, the rocket carried a Tesla Roadster belonging to SpaceX founder Elon Musk, with a dummy dubbed “Starman” in the driver’s seat, as a dummy payload.
- The second Falcon Heavy launch occurred on 11 April 2019 and all three booster rockets successfully returned to Earth.
- Falcon Heavy was designed to be able to carry humans into space beyond low Earth orbit, but SpaceX has decided not to carry people on Falcon Heavy.
Good to Know
The Falcon Heavy was developed with private capital with Musk stating that the cost was more than US$500 million. No government financing was provided for its development.
Watch the maiden launch of Falcon heavy below —