All fans of SpaceX, Elon Musk and the space industry are already looking forward to the first manned flight into space of Starship. Before this happens, however, we will see a few more flights of the most powerful rocket currently at SpaceX’s disposal in the sky and is currently used in the global space industry.
We are talking about the Falcon Heavy rocket. SpaceX announces as many as 11 starts of this monster. The rocket has already had 3 successful launches in its career, and by the end of this year there may be a total of 4. In fact, it is not much, because the regular Falcon has already made more than 100 launches, but we are talking about a vehicle that is made of three stages an ordinary Falcon, so it’s a powerful vehicle.
Falcon Heavy made the first mission for Elon Musk himself aboard an electric vehicle called the Roadster. It is currently traveling somewhere in orbit between Earth and Mars. The second mission was to launch the Arabsat-6A satellite for the Arabsat company. Meanwhile, the third was a secret enterprise for the Pentagon. It was probably a new type of spy satellite for the American Intelligence Agency (CIA).
One mission awaits us this year. USSF-44 will be implemented for the United States Army. Next year there will be 5 of them. The first will be another one for the government. As for the second, ViaSat-3 Americas satellites for the Viasat company are to be launched into orbit.
Interestingly, NASA and SpaceX plan that Falcon Heavy will start carrying out slightly different missions next year. Scientists want to deliver a probe with this rocket to a “golden” asteroid worth 37 trillion zlotys. We are talking about 16 Psyche, which is one of the largest asteroids located in the belt between Mars and Jupiter. It is believed to be the frozen metal core of a Mars-sized planet that has been destroyed.
During the fourth mission, the Pentagon’s satellite USSF-67 will fly into orbit again. During the fifth year, new satellites will also be in orbit, but this time for Inmarsat. In 2023, the Griffin robot from Astrobotic and the GOES-U meteorological satellite are to be sent towards the moon.
It is also certain that the Falcon Heavy will deliver a new space station to the orbit of our planet’s natural satellite in the form of the Lunar Space Port. The mission with the first elements of PPE and HALO is to start in 2024. NASA is also preparing a contract with Elon Musk’s company to send the Europa Clipper mission to Jupiter and its moons. She will investigate the icy worlds that may hide biological life.
Falcon Heavy will also launch a mysterious, new and larger Pentagon vehicle into orbit. Elon Musk’s company won the tender for a secret US military mission. The contract is worth as much as $ 316 million. The disclosed information shows that SpaceX will have to modify the cargo cover for this mission, or in fact extend it. But it is not everything. Vertical payload integration is also involved, which means the company will have to slightly modify the famous LC-39A platform, from where the experimental, manned flight of the Dragon-2 capsule to the space home recently took place.
Experts speculate that we may be dealing with a new research vehicle. Perhaps it will be the successor to the X-37B mini-shuttle, which has been flying into orbit for many years and spending more and more time there. Recently, NASA announced that it intends to conduct orbit experiments related to the preparation of a manned flight to the moon. The new vehicle was to enable the implementation of experiments on a much larger scale. Perhaps it will be a nuclear-powered vehicle, as the agency and the army are working on such technology.
Source: GeekWeek.pl/SpaceX/NASA/DoD / Photo. SpaceX
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