Musk shares timelapse of SpaceX Falcon Heavy being raised for launch prep

Terry Joseph
January 5, 2018

Iridium Communications Inc said on Wednesday its 10 satellites, launched last week by tech billionaire Elon Musk's SpaceX, are functioning as expected.

Zuma payload was prepared by Northrop Grumman with SpaceX on behalf of the USA government.

SpaceX also announced plans to fly a Crew Dragon spacecraft, carrying two people, on a circumlunar mission in late 2018 using a Falcon Heavy, but the company has provided no updates on the status of that effort since announcing it in February 2017. Launch end of the month. Its first stage is composed of three Falcon 9 nine-engine cores whose 27 Merlin engines together generate more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff, equal to approximately eighteen 747 aircraft. The launch of Zuma is clearly the company's main priority, at the moment.

Falcon 9's octaweb is shown exposed here in all its hunk-of-raw-metal glory.

The Falcon Heavy rocket sits on its launchpad at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

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Preceding this static fire, SpaceX will necessarily conduct a wet dress rehearsal (WDR) in which Falcon Heavy's three first stages and single second stage will be fully loaded with supercooled high-grade kerosene (known as RP-1) and liquid oxygen. SpaceX later released photos of the auto being encapsulated in the rocket's payload fairing. If bugs are found, the vehicle may instead be detanked of its propellant load and rolled back to LC-39A's integration facilities in order to analyze those issues and ensure vehicle safety and readiness.

The Kennedy Space Center lists January 2018 as the earliest possible slot for the launch.

Musk, though, has lowered expectations for the first Falcon Heavy launch, something he also did in his Instagram post.

The launch on SpaceX's reusable Falcon 9 rocket on Friday had sparked concerns on the U.S. West Coast due to its glowing trail, according to media reports. But don't get too excited just yet: SpaceX has a history of delays.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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