Elon Musk announces an early February launch plan for Falcon HeavyOn January 28, 2018 by Maybell
Elon Musk’s “week or so” until the Falcon Heavy launch is now looking like it’ll be closer to two weeks.
The SpaceX founder confirmed on Twitter that he’s “aiming” to have a Feb. 6 launch for the private aerospace company’s largest rocket to date. It will lift off from the Apollo launchpad 39A at Cape Kennedy, Musk tweeted.
“Easy viewing from the public causeway.”
Aiming for first flight of Falcon Heavy on Feb 6 from Apollo launchpad 39A at Cape Kennedy. Easy viewing from the public causeway.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 27, 2018
News of the Falcon Heavy’s hoped-for launch date comes days after the rocket’s successful test on Wednesday, at Cape Canaveral. At the time, Musk predicted in a follow-up tweet the a proper launch would happen soon.
The Falcon Heavy is so-named for its ability to launch larger payloads than SpaceX has been able to previously. It’s basically three Falcon 9 rockets — the current SpaceX standard-bearer — strapped together.
While the added power means it can move heavier payloads into space and out toward distant destinations, such as Mars, the first Falcon Heavy launch is more symbolic. The rocket will contain nothing more than a red Tesla Roadster — another Musk product — blasting David Bowie’s song “Space Oddity” on its radio.
Wednesday’s firing test shouldn’t be taken as a surefire sign of success for the Falcon Heavy. As Musk said last July, there’s a “real good chance that vehicle doesn’t make it to orbit.”
The launch timetable is also far from certain. Musk’s Saturday tweet is clear enough about Feb. 6 being the “aim,” but any number of factors could delay that plan.
Still, this is more concrete confirmation of a launch plan than Musk was willing to share just a few days ago. Assuming nothing changes, we’ll all get to see how this Falcon Heavy holds up to the rigors of a full launch in roughly a week and a half.