Just how falcon heavy is it?
SpaceX has released a video animation of its Falcon Heavy, the mega-rocket of "scale and capability unequalled by any other currently flying". Falcon Heavy is still to make its maiden voyage, but when it does the lift off thrust will total nearly four million pounds, equal to fifteen Boeing 747 jet liners at full power, said …
A 747-400 with GE engines gives 2.76 kNorris of thrust. So this rocket's thrust is equal to ~41 kNorris. I don't think that a 747 thrust would make a good Register standard unit as there are too many variations and configurations of the aircraft. This might lead to confusion.
I wonder what you would do with 12.619 kiloJubs in low earth orbit?
Well, the most lift since Saturn _IS_ Energia. 100 tons. While quite impressive, the Heavy Falcon is not just there, yet. It is however the closest we have gotten to Energia so far.
Otherwise, all that is missing from the picture is Elon buying a volcano somewhere. Everything else - he already has it.
"...Brought to you by the lowest bidding subcontractor...hmm."
D'ahh, c'mon, man. That joke's been around almost since the beginning of the Space Age.
As I recall, it comes from a comment John Glenn made in an interview in the early '60s, commenting on the early Mercury/Atlas booster test launches; during the test phase, Atlas boosters seemed to be malfunctioning and exploding during launch every other day.
See also "our rockets always blow up" in Tom Wolfe's The Right Stuff.
That's a knee-slapper for sure, but in many ways not too far from reality.
Here's one of Von Braun's WWII-era orbital launch vehicle concepts.. Dude was really into clustered engines...
...and, of course, the Soviets' ill-fated N1 program, where clustered engines became a clusterfuck -- and which makes one ask, "how far can you stretch a concept before it snaps?"
If the booster-cores now don't land perfectly synchronised like an Olympic ice-skating team, then I'll be extremely disappointed.
How long do you reckon before the SpaceX lads are channelling 'Top Gun' and are asking permission to 'buzz the tower' at KSC with one of the landing components?