Falcon Heavy (former name Falcon 9 Heavy) – heavy rocket designed and manufactured by the American company SpaceX. Its first flight took place on February 6, 2018
The rocket uses Merlin 1D engines, and its first stage is the first level of the older and lighter rocket Falcon 9FT. In addition, there are two auxiliary stages for nine engines, each being the modified first Falcon 9 FT. So truncated, the first Falcon 9 stage is accompanied by a single-engine second stage.
Thanks to this solution, the rocket’s performance has been significantly increased, which allows for delivering up to 63.8 tons of low-orbit Earth transport (while Falcon 9 in the strongest version can reach up to 22.8 tons). Such a large rocket also allows possible manned lunar expeditions, as well as to Mars, although manned flights are still unlikely.
Falcon Heavy is the heaviest of the currently used rocket launchers, and only the Space Launch System built by NASA will have more possibilities. The rocket launch test was successfully carried out on February 6, 2018 for the test cargo (Tesla Roadster with the space suit mannequin in the driver’s seat), but the central core failed to land properly due to engine problems (hit the water). The other two boosters (two side auxiliary missiles) landed successfully on the ground practically at the same time.
The planned application of the Falcon Heavy rocket are unmanned flights. SpaceX has also begun the process of rocket certification for the United States Air Forces, which will provide the company with access to the military services market. Since Falcon Heavy is a direct development of the Falcon 9 rocket, which already received such a certificate, this process should be much shorter than 2 years needed to certify Falcon 9.
Falcon Heavy will be able to take off from the spaceport used by SpaceX in the J. F. Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida.
At the beginning of 2018, ideas for manned flights outside the orbit of the Moon were withdrawn and it is unlikely that they will return to them.