Just days after SpaceX performed a successful static fire of its Falcon Heavy rocket, Elon Musk says that the company is planning to launch the rocket for the first time on Tuesday, February 6th from Cape Kennedy in Florida.
SpaceX originally intended to launch the rocket in 2013 or 2014, but has continually pushed the date back. Now that the rocket has successfully completed its tests, the first launch is within sight.
Comprised of three reusable Falcon 9 rocket cores strapped together, the spacecraft is one of the most powerful ever made. It will take off from launchpad 39A, which once launched Apollo and Space Shuttle missions. Musk notes that there will be “Easy viewing from the public causeway.”
SpaceX’s first Falcon Heavy flight will be about testing it in real-world flight. The company has done a lot of preparation and simulation, but you can’t know how a rocket’s going to behave in the air until it actually launches. Musk has previously suggested this could end with the rocket exploding post-launch and pre-orbit, but that would still be a major step forward for SpaceX’s heavy booster.
The cargo on board for this mission is a cherry red original model Tesla Roadster – and if things go very well, it’ll be put into a long looping Mars orbit, a nod to everything Musk’s ventures have accomplished thus far, and also what they hope to achieve in the future.