Tuesday, April 05, 2011

SpaceX Unveils Plans For Falcon Heavy Rocket

SpaceX intends to build and launch a heavy-lift version of the Falcon 9 rocket that could carry double the amount of cargo as competitor's launchers for a fraction of the cost, officials said today.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk told a crowd of reporters at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C, that the Falcon Heavy would cost just $1,000 per pound of payload -- a "mythical" mark that is an order of magnitude reduction from today's high launch costs -- $10,000-per-pound to orbit.


The Falcon Heavy will be marketed at $100 million per launch -- considerably less than competitors would charge. It will be capable of carrying 117,000 pounds to orbit -- more than twice the payload capacity of NASA's space shuttle.

The Falcon Heavy also will be "human-rated," which means that it will meet or exceed all NASA standards for safely flying astronauts.

The rocket could enable missions to asteroids, the moon and Mars, Musk said. The Falcon Heavy will have about half the lifting capability of a Saturn 5 moon rocket.

Musk said he expects to launch 10 Falcon 9 flights and 10 Falcon Heavy flights per year -- the majority would fly from a converted pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Launch Complex 40 or one of NASA's twin shuttle launch pads at Kennedy Space Center.

Musk said he expects work forces will double if the company achieves the flight rate it is projecting.

A demonstration flight is planned at Vandenberg Air Force Base in early 2013. The first Falcon Heavy rocket will be delivered to the central California launch site by November or December 2012, he said.

Launch operations then will shift to Cape Canaveral because most customers require launches into equatorial orbits, he said.

9 comments:

jose said...

What do you NASA cry babys have to say about Obama cancelling constellation now?

Gaetano Marano said...

.

a) Mr. Musk and SpaceX are able to change the laws of physics and mathematics, or ...

b) they have not told the truth in this bombastic announcement about the real F9H specs

.

joe said...

There are no laws of physics or mathematics that require space access to be so expensive. It's been that way mainly because NASA is a giant jobs program used mainly to keep large numbers of people employed.

Edward said...

Or

c) NASA´s inefficiencies are not part of the equation.

Since the laws of physics can not be changed, the answer must be C.

CWDance said...

Seeing is believing and so far it hasn't been seen!

ArtsyIryne said...

The never-ending whining about NASA employing the people of this county is laughable. Go through the mall -- see how many stores are closed? Catch a clue...

I worked with Apollo veterans. How we got to the moon was imagination and guts. People loved their jobs -- anything was possible. I watched as the Shuttle program went from a thing of wonder to a "government program". People who work for Musk say that he's captured the "reach for the sky" mindset. He WILL make it.

craig said...

Great,anyone can say what they want, nice picture.. hope it works out..

SO when you go to the Space X web site and look for jobs nation wide, they have everything in Los Angeles not a single job posting for Florida.. NOt one...

thanks for caring so much about the rank and file your company has destroyed.. Our NASA funds are only diverted to Space X and those like them,, there is no real savings in Money..

Graham said...

I count 15 engines on that vehicle,i really hope they can get them all to gimble at the right time!!!.Or you really WILL have serious problems.Less engines is FAR better,it cuts down potential problems.!!

paul said...

its just pie in the sky. a billionaires little hobby.