back to article The new Falcon Heavy: MOST POWERFUL ROCKET since the Apollo moonshots

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 …

  1. JDX Gold badge

    Is it?

    Just how falcon heavy is it?

    1. Gotno iShit Wantno iShit

      Re: Is it?

      Good question, at 53 tonnes the payload on its own is pretty falcon heavy.

    2. Sir Sham Cad

      Re: Is it?

      It'll be 975259.3 falcon heavy.

      Or, to use the proper units: 348.3069 KiloJub.


      Female Peregrine Falcons can get up to 1.5kg in mass. A Falcon Heavy is predicted to weigh in at 1,462,836kg and add another 53 for payload.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: Is it?

        Millenium Falcon heavy!

        Whether she can do the Kessel Run remains to be seen, but she's heavy enough for you, old man. What's the cargo?

        1. Omniaural

          Re: Is it?


          Perhaps this is where it starts.

          By the year 3000 the name may be appropriate, but will the tech be there?

      2. sawatts

        Re: Is it?

        African or European Falcon?

  2. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    What is it with these people

    And the music selection for their promo videos? They are as bad as the US Navy...

    1. Steven Raith

      Re: What is it with these people

      Rockets are metal as fuck.


      Steven \m/ 0 \m/ Raith

    2. Muckminded

      Re: What is it with these people

      Space Jam ftw!

    3. JDX Gold badge

      Re: What is it with these people

      "In the Navy"

    4. Mike Flugennock
      Thumb Up

      Re: What is it with these people

      Oh, I dunno... I thought the music was damned cool.

      Falcon Heavy: The Rocket That ROCKS.

  3. ElectricFox

    Or in English

    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?

    1. Robert Helpmann??

      Re: Or in English

      I wonder what you would do with 12.619 kiloJubs in low earth orbit?

      I am not entirely sure, but it sound like a lot of fun!

    2. Monty Burns

      Re: Or in English

      I'd rather use the unit KiloJubblies, sounds much more fun.

  4. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    A bit economical with the truth in that video

    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.

  5. Spook


    The embedded video is 3 years old. You want this one:

    1. Tom Betz

      Re: Vid

      Yes, you DO want that one... thanks!

    2. Steven Raith

      Re: Vid

      I emailed corrections for you ;)

      Also, that video is even more metal and includes the landing stages \m/

      Steven R

  6. Mark 85

    Not yet Saturn 5 level... yet.

    The Saturn V (or 5 if you prefer) first stage had 7,600,000 lb thrust. But, it looks like SpaceX may get there... or higher.

    1. Chemist

      Re: Not yet Saturn 5 level... yet.

      "The Saturn V (or 5 if you prefer) first stage had 7,600,000 lb thrust..."

      Which was more than a million times my (rather wimpy) motorbike at the time (sigh) Even my Velocette Thruxton was only 1/300000th a SatV

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bird Heavy

    Fire comes out here, also here and here. We will go into space today.

  8. Irongut

    Strap Jeb to the top and let's get going!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ...Brought to you by the lowest bidding subcontractor...hmm.

    1. Mike Flugennock


      "...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.

  10. evs

    Wrong video

    That video depicts v1.0 cores: No landing legs, no grid fins and engines in a square array. Compare to the (correct) video linked by Spook.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Kerbal Sim

    Wow, I have been doing the same thing in Kerbal for 3 years. Nice to see reality follow fantasy for once.

    1. killakrust

      Re: Kerbal Sim

      This just in: SpaceX releases images of the Falcon SUPER Heavy Launcher.

      1. Mike Flugennock

        Re: Kerbal Sim

        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?"

  12. phil dude

    Can we please.....

    ...get Elon Musk to build Thunderbird 2?


  13. Crazy Operations Guy

    "failed to land"

    No, it landed on the barge just fine, it just landed a little too fast.

    1. Rabbit80

      Re: "failed to land"

      And at the wrong angle...

    2. Martin Budden

      Re: "failed to land"

      It landed, and shortly after it watered.

      They very almost nearly got it right that time, next time could be the one!

  14. Mikel

    Next Landing attempt is February 9

    If it launches on time. For a newish space company they have a rather full dance card.

  15. 27escape

    Vertical landing

    There is something beautifully old school SciFi about rockets landing vertically, can't wait to watch them in action

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I must say, Elon is doing rather more

    With his money than sitting on it or buying super yachts

    For that he's built quite a following

    Of course nothing will be noted in history until Apple release the iRocket and start suing everyone

    1. Martin Budden

      Re: I must say, Elon is doing rather more

      I pray the iRocket uploads U2 unnanounced.

  17. kmac499

    Saturn V balancing act

    Dredged form my childhood memories.

    The saturnV Apollo combo stood 365feet high and weighed 3000 tons at take off.

    So about the same as a small warship of the time balanced on it's fiery tail.. and that was nearly fifty years ago...

    1. Mike Flugennock

      Re: Saturn V balancing act

      Also, as I recall, the combined contents of the tanks in a Saturn V had an explosive force equal to a small nuclear device.

      Saturn V: The Don't Fuck With Me Rocket.

  18. BenR

    They've set the bar very high.

    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?

  19. AbeSapian

    Now That's a Sales Pitch

    Much better than the Vulture 2 simulation.

  20. Sgt_Oddball

    Whats that flying there?

    Is is just me or does it look a little like ....(sort of NSFW, in a mildy childish way) .. i'll just leave that there.

  21. Mike Flugennock

    A question about your units

    You mention the Falcon Heavy's thrust in terms of the number of 747s.

    How many Saturn V's is that?

    1. MajorTom

      Re: A question about your units

      Just over 1/2 a Saturn V.

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