The SpaceX CEO and founder Elon Musk recently acknowledged the fact that the long-awaited launch of the Falcon Heavy Rocket is highly risky but he simultaneously released a launch and land animation this week.
The rocket is finally ready to be blasted off into space after years of waiting for the perfect moment. It will happen in November of 2017 from the NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Musk commented this in a tweet: “Falcon Heavy maiden launch this November. Lot that can go wrong in the November launch.”
To increase the thrill and excitement of thousands of enthusiasts around the world, Musk also released a launch and landing animation and explained: “Side booster rockets return to Cape Canaveral. Center lands on droneship. Sides run high thrust, center is lower thrust until sides separate & fly back. Center then throttles up, keeps burning & lands on droneship. If we’re lucky!”
This launch is clearly very risky and the hope is that that it will go sufficiently from the ground where the chances of damage will be minimized. Elon Musk did not hide this: “There’s a lot of risk associated with Falcon Heavy, a real good chance that that vehicle does not make it to orbit.”
“I want to make sure to set expectations accordingly. I hope it makes it far enough beyond the pad so that it does not cause pad damage. I would consider even that a win, to be honest. I think Falcon Heavy is going to be a great vehicle. There’s just so much that’s really impossible to test on the ground, and we’ll do our best. Falcon Heavy requires the simultaneous ignition of 27 orbit-class engines. There’s a lot that can go wrong there.” the added.
Musk explained “It actually ended up being way harder to do Falcon Heavy than we thought. At first it sounds real easy! You just stick two first stages on as strap-on boosters. How hard can that be?” But then everything changes. All the loads change, aerodynamics totally change. You’ve tripled the vibration and acoustics. You sort of break the qualification levels on so much of the hardware.”