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article imageSpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket is now on launchpad ahead of flight

By Karen Graham     Dec 28, 2017 in Technology
Cape Canaveral - Elon Musk's Falcon Heavy megarocket was rolled out on the launchpad today as the company prepares for the rocket's maiden flight, which is scheduled for next month. The rocket will undergo various tests, including static engine firing before it takes off.
The gigantic 40-foot-wide Falcon Heavy was raised on the same pad as the Saturn V Apollo 11 moon rocket - Launchpad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center around 10:30 a.m. December 28. The only difference is that the launchpad has been modified to accommodate the Falcon Heavy.
If all the testing goes well, the Falcon Heavy, with 5.1 million pounds of thrust, will be the most powerful rocket in operation today, with almost twice the lifting power of the next most powerful rocket says NASA. And next month, when Falcon Heavy is launched, it will be the most powerful rocket to launch from 39A since the launch of NASA's Saturn V, which sent astronauts to the moon, according to NASA.
Before the end of the year, meaning this week, a static engine fire of all 27 Merlin engines will be made. Florida Today is reporting that if the tests are successful, SpaceX said it will launch a few weeks later, likely in mid-to-late January.
Earlier this week Elon Musk revealed pictures of the rocket s payload a cherry red Tesla roadster be...
Earlier this week Elon Musk revealed pictures of the rocket's payload a cherry red Tesla roadster believed to be his own car. Now, the fairing containing it has been spotted at the firm's Cape Canaveral base.
There really is a payload headed to Mars
While it started out as possibly a joke, moving on to speculation by many news sites, it apparently has been confirmed that encapsulated in the rocket's nose cone is Elon Musk's very cherry red 2008 Tesla Roadster that he hopes to send on a voyage to the red planet.
Again, Florida Today is reporting, and this writer loves this, that Musk says we can expect David Bowie's "Space Oddity" to be playing on the all-electric sports car's sound system before launch.
Photos released by SpaceX do show photos of an original Tesla Roadster sitting on a large cone inside the Falcon Heavy on what appears to be a secure mount to keep it stationary. "Test flights of new rockets usually contain mass simulators in the form of concrete or steel blocks," said Musk, according to the UK's Daily Mail.
Falcon Heavy s 27 Merlin engines  up close and personal.
Falcon Heavy's 27 Merlin engines, up close and personal.
"That seemed extremely boring. Of course, anything boring is terrible, especially companies, so we decided to send something unusual, something that made us feel. Destination is Mars orbit. Will be in deep space for a billion years or so if it doesn't blow up on the ascent."
SpaceX announces the BFR
And here's a glimpse of what SpaceX has in store for the future, and this is apparently not a joke, folks. Elon Musk announced the latest addition to his company SpaceX's arsenal - the 'Big F***ing Rocket' (BFR) - and it could revolutionize transport on Earth as well as in space.
The BFR is expected to take off and land vertically, including on floating launchpads moored outside major cities. The BFR could fly from New York to Tokyo in about 30 minutes and to most cities around the world in under an hour. Musk says the "cost per seat should be about the same as full fare economy in an aircraft."
All I can say is, "WOW."
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