With SpaceX’s highly anticipated and ambitious demonstration launch of its Falcon Heavy Rocket scheduled for later this month, LA Times writer Samantha Masunaga spoke with space architecture director Olga Bannova for insights on the use of heavy-lift rockets.
The Falcon Heavy Rocket is one of several heavy-lift rockets under development by NASA and private companies. Sporting 27 engines that will generate over 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff, the Falcon Heavy will be SpaceX’s biggest tests yet.
The $90 million launch of the Falcon Heavy may not prove successful the first time around, said SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who added there was a “good chance” that the rocket won’t make it into orbit. If successful, the Falcon Heavy could eventually be used to carry massive satellites into space or complete national security missions.
Bannova said such rockets are necessary if we want to complete bigger, more complex missions in outer space.
“If we’re talking about expanding exploration, it will be good to have more capabilities,” Bannova told the LA Times.
Read the full article at http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-spacex-falcon-heavy-20180112-htmlstory.html