The Falcon Heavy is a launcher developed by SpaceX. He took off successfully on February 6, 2018. This launcher has a height of 70 meters. With a maximum thrust of 2500 tonnes delivered by 27 Merlin engines, the equivalent of 18 Boeing 747s, it will be able to put up to 63.8 tonnes in low orbit, 26.7 tonnes in geostationary transfer orbit, 16.8 tons to Mars and 3.5 tons to Pluto.
One of the objectives of this launch is to reuse its two propellers and the central body of the rocket. Both thrusters landed successfully but the main body failed at sea. So it can be said that the inaugural launch of the Falcon Heavy is a success and that this rocket has become the most powerful in service. Indeed, its 27 engines have worked well and the launcher has put into orbit its load which is a Tesla Roadster car including a model named Starman dressed with the space suit SpaceX is installed inside the car.
This launch of the Falcon Heavy was a first step in the human space flight project designed by Elon Musk. A more powerful future launcher is in preparation for 2020 which is the BFR or Big Falcon Rocket. This new BFR launcher will replace all SpaceX space vehicles such as the Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy and the Dragon capsule. The BFR would cost less than its other space vehicles because all components of the BFR would be reusable.
The missions of the BFR would be as follows:
- Placing satellites in orbit
- Refuel the International Space Station in consumable
- Transport people from Earth to the ISS and from ISS to Earth
- Allow long lunar missions
- Allow business trips between different cities on the planet, in less than an hour
- Allow to launch an inhabited mission to Mars
- Allow to explore the Solar System, such as the moons of Saturn and Jupiter, especially Titan who would dispose of natural methane lake
The project of the conquest of Mars by SpaceX seems very ambitious even if there are still many uncertainties around this program.