Elon Musk Shares First Photos of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy Rocket

The long-awaited launch of the Falcon Heavy will occur next month, and Elon Musk's photos show it primed and ready to go.
Shelby Rogers
The photo credit line may appear like thisElon Musk/Twitter    

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted out new photos of SpaceX's long-awaited Falcon Heavy Rocket. The Falcon Heavy, which has endured several delays, appears ready for launch next month should everything stay on schedule. 

Current plans are for the Falcon Heavy to launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida in January 2018. 

Musk has tweeted quite a bit of odd promises regarding the Falcon Heavy. Earlier in December, Musk tweeted that he was going to send his Tesla Roadster as the payload -- all while playing David Bowie's "Space Oddity" on full blast -- and ship the whole rocket off to Mars. 


While the pictures certainly seem impressive, Musk continues to warn the public not to get their hopes up too much. 

"There's a real good chance that it does not make it to orbit. I hope it makes it far enough away from the pad that it does not cause pad damage," Musk said in at the International Space Station's R&D Conference in July. "I would consider even that a win, to be honest."


Musk also noted that developing such a powerful and large-scale rocket became "way, way more difficult" than the company had originally planned.

"Falcon Heavy requires the simultaneous ignition of 27 orbit-class engines," Musk said. "There's a lot that can go wrong there."

And earlier this month, Musk reiterated the "this might not work" mentality on Twitter, saying it's "guaranteed to be exciting, one way or another."

There were more pictures than just the ones via Twitter that showcased how ready the Falcon Heavy seems.

Elon Musk Shares First Photos of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy Rocket
Source: Elon Musk/Twitter  
Elon Musk Shares First Photos of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy Rocket
Source: Elon Musk/Twitter  

The SpaceX Instagram account featured a post of the company's 400th Merlin 1D engine -- the latest rocket that is responsible for propelling a Falcon 9 into space. 

These Merlin engines are nearly identical to the 27 strapped to the bottom of the Falcon Heavy. Of the three main boosters, the Falcon Heavy will use cores flown from previous Falcon 9 boosters. And if the central core itself looks familiar, it should. It's a modified version of a Falcon 9. The goal is for the Falcon Heavy to launch and deliver payloads as massive as 63,800 kg (approximately 140,654 lbs) into space. 


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