In news– Recently SpaceX launched the Falcon Heavy rocket into a geosynchronous Earth orbit from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, U.S.
About the rocket-
- SpaceX claims Falcon Heavy to be the most powerful rocket in the world today by a factor of two.
- With a lifting capacity of around 64 metric tonnes into orbit, Falcon Heavy can lift more than twice the payload of the next closest operational vehicle, the Delta IV Heavy.
- The rocket has a height of 70 m, a width of 12.2 m and a mass of 1,420,788 kg.
- It has 27 Merlin engines which together generate more than five million pounds of thrust at lift-off, equalling around eighteen 747 aircraft at full power. This makes it the most capable rocket flying.
- The rocket can lift the equivalent of a fully loaded 737 jetliner, complete with passengers, luggage and fuel, to orbit.
- Merlin is a family of rocket engines developed by SpaceX for use on its Falcon 1, Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch vehicles.
- Merlin engines use RP-1 and liquid oxygen as rocket propellants in a gas-generator power cycle. These engines were designed for recovery and reuse.
- The Falcon Heavy uses three boosters for added thrust and lift capacity.
- The centre booster plunged into the ocean as planned and the two side boosters landed on ground pads at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
- The company hails this as the most powerful operational rocket in the world.
- Recent launch is the fourth launch of the giant rocket system, and the first one in nearly three years since its last launch in 2019.
The current mission-
- The rocket is carrying satellites to space for the U.S. military in a mission named as U.S. Space Force (USSF)-44.
- The mission deployed two spacecraft payloads, one of which is the TETRA 1 microsatellite created for various prototype missions in and around the geosynchronous earth orbit.
- The other payload is for national defence purposes. It will place the satellites for the Space Systems Command’s Innovation and Prototyping.
- Space Systems Command (SSC) is the oldest military space organisation in the United States Armed Forces.
- It is responsible for developing, acquiring, equipping, fielding and sustaining lethal and resilient space capabilities.