SpaceX’s massive new rocket, the appropriately named Falcon Heavy, hasn’t taken flight yet, but when it does, it will be the most powerful rocket in the world. The company is banking on this to be the booster that takes people up into outer space, and on Wednesday it shared a photograph of the rocket still in the nest, looking imposing as hell with its snazzy logo plastered on the side.
“Heavy interstage being prepped at the rocket factory,” the caption on SpaceX’s Instagram explains. “When FH flies next year, it will be the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two.”
In May, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said the Falcon Heavy would have a thrust of 5.1 million pounds-force on liftoff, which, frankly, is just insanely powerful. When it’s ready, it’ll be able to take 54 metric tons into space in one go for one-third the cost of the next-biggest rocket, according to SpaceX.
“Only the Saturn V moon rocket, last flown in 1973, delivered more payload to orbit,” the company’s website explains.
The first launch of the rocket was supposed to take place in 2016, but was pushed back due to the explosion of a Falcon 9 in September. Now the first launch is expected to take place in early 2017. Not everybody has forgotten about the incident.
“Anyone else read ‘most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two’ as ‘Will be the biggest and coolest explosion you have ever seen’?” commented one person on SpaceX’s Facebook post.