Last week, the new rocket hit a big developmental milestone when SpaceX turned it upright for the first time. The SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket will be set for launching from Pad 39-A at the John F. Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, Florida, which is a section of the same area which sent the Apollo missions to the moon. That static fire test is not expected to take place until after the Falcon 9 launch of a classified payload codenamed "Zuma" from nearby Space Launch Complex 40. It's not there just for its pretty looks. Musk recently said that the first passenger to orbit Mars will be his own cherry red Tesla Roadster. And according to Musk, the auto will be playing David Bowie's "Space Oddity".
Musk, though, has lowered expectations for the first Falcon Heavy launch, something he also did in his Instagram post. The company will be launching the spacecraft Zuma from Cape Canaveral, Florida, the home base of NASA's Kennedy Space Center.
SpaceX has ironed out all the wrinkles with its Falcon 9 launches, but it's about to try something new and potentially insane.
While other rocket makers ditch the boosters at sea following orbital missions, SpaceX expects to reuse the booster to save time and money.
Risks aside, if all goes well, the side cores will separate and return to the land-based Landing Zone-1 (LZ-1) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, and will likely land simultaneously and offer nearby Floridans a double dose of sonic booms as they slow down from speeds well above Mach 3.
Twelve of the attempted seventeen Falcon landings on the drone ships have been successful.
CEO Elon Musk tweeted video of the rocket going vertical at historic Launch Pad 39A Thursday.
Interested in solar? Get a solar cost estimate and find out how much a solar system would cost for your home or business.