Elon Musk has posted a series of incredible pictures which give us our best glimpse yet of SpaceX’s largest and most powerful rocket yet: Falcon Heavy.
When it takes off on its first test flight in January, Falcon Heavy will be the world’s most powerful rocket generating a staggering 5.1 million pounds of thrust.
Reminiscent of the space race of the ’60s, the photos show off the sheer scale of the rocket.
While it can’t compete with NASA’s iconic Saturn V rocket which generated a 7.5 million pounds of thrust, Falcon Heavy will take the current top spot as being the rocket able to lift the most amount of cargo into space.
Once fully operational it will be able to lift the equivalent of a Boeing 737 airliner filled with fuel, luggage and passengers into space.
Despite being one of the most powerful rockets on the planet, Falcon Heavy is at its core a truly efficient rocket.
It is in fact just a single reinforced Falcon 9 central core surrounded by two Falcon 9 boosters.
By reusing SpaceX’s existing designs and technologies Falcon Heavy can still claim to be completely reusable with all three sections capable of re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere and landing themselves.
By using three smaller rockets, SpaceX has also been able to drastically reduce the risk of any unplanned shutdowns taking place.
With a grand-total of 27 engines, Falcon Heavy can actually more than one engine shutdown at any point in the mission and still fully complete its task.
As impressive as Falcon Heavy is, it’s actually just the next step for SpaceX in an ever-increasing selection of rockets that will become more and more powerful.
Earlier this year Musk and SpaceX unveiled the BFR (which stands for exactly what you think it does).
Once complete, the BFR will well and truly become the world’s most powerful rocket, capable of lifting a whopping 150 tonnes into space during each launch.
Of course that’s some way off with the first BFR test-flight not expected until well into the early 2020s.