Right now, SpaceX is preparing to launch the company’s, and the world’s largest rocket ever. Known as the Falcon Heavy, its already positioned on the launch pad, and when it lifts off, it will rocket (literally) 54 metric tons (a mass equivalent to a 737 jetliner loaded with passengers, crew, luggage and fuel) into space.
Falcon Heavy’s amazing lift is achieved thanks to the first stage of 3x Falcon 9 nine-engine cores, which are made up of 27 Merlin engines, together generating in excess of 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff. This immense power allows it to transport more than twice the payload of the next closest operational vehicle. Think about that, all the years of NASA and billions of dollars of investment and in just 15 years, SpaceX has managed to surpass all other rockets in the world, but a massive margin.
The Saudi Arabian broadcaster, Arabsat, already owns and operates 6 satellites and tapped the services of Lockheed Martin to develop their latest, the ARABSAT 6A satellite, which is scheduled to be on board when the Falcon Heavy launches from the Florida launch site. The satellite itself weighs 6,000kg and has a life expectancy of around 15 years.
We understand these photos were taken during a launch site fitment process, with the actual launch date still yet to be confirmed and heavily weather dependent. Given the uproar the last SpaceX caused, get ready, this one’s sure to leave a big tattoo in the sky.