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The Falcon Heavy is SpaceX‘s next big rocket, but it’s been a long time coming. It was set to be launched late last year, but a Falcon 9 launchpad explosion resulted in several delays and pushbacks across SpaceX’s missions.
Now, company founder Elon Musk has confirmed a new date for the heavyweight launch.
“Falcon Heavy maiden launch this November,” Musk simply wrote on Instagram.
It’s one of the most ambitious space endeavours yet, as the new rocket is expected to carry a bigger payload to orbit than the now-retired Space Shuttle. And the ambition isn’t lost on Musk.
The Falcon Heavy has received a November launch window, but Elon Musk isn’t confident of a successful first launch
“…Falcon Heavy, that requires the simultaneous ignition of 27 orbit-class engines… there’s a lot that could go wrong there,” the SpaceX founder said at a conference earlier this month. “I encourage people to come down to the Cape [Canaveral – ed] and see the first Falcon Heavy mission. It’s guaranteed to be exciting.”
Musk added that the project was “really difficult to test on the ground”, with simulations only going so far.
“There’s a lot of risk associated with Falcon Heavy…” he continued, saying there was a “real good chance” that it doesn’t get to orbit.
“I hope it makes it far enough away from the pad that it does not cause pad damage. I will consider even that a win, to be honest.