As SpaceX works to prepares for its Falcon Heavy rocket — the one that will take two humans around the moon in 2018, and launch heavy payloads for NASA and other clients — the rest of the world is left wondering when a full test launch will finally happen.
An enterprising Bloomberg report published on Wednesday used all the currently available data to predict the official launch date of September 22, 2017, before revising the date to December 31, 2017, as the first official dates for a Falcon Heavy launch, for demonstration purposes or otherwise.
However, a SpaceX representative wouldn’t confirm either date on Tuesday to Inverse.
SpaceX instead pointed to an interview with Gynne Shotwell, President and COO of SpaceX by Space News that indicated that Falcon Heavy demonstration flights are likely to begin later in the summer. This time line matches SpaceX founder Elon Musk’s own predictions on Twitter:
As explained in the Bloomberg story by Tom Randall, he found the initial launch date of December 31, 2017 from this SpaceX press release and reported that the Falcon Heavy would be ready by the end of this year, based on a The Space Show interview with Shotwell.
In the Space News Interview, Shotwell says that the Falcon Heavy will begin commercial service in 2018, and that the launchpad repairs that need to be completed before Falcon Heavy can launch “remains on track for completion later this summer.”
The Falcon Heavy is expected to carry twice the weight of the current Falcon 9 rocket, and is projected to be able to transport people not only to the moon but deeper into space as well.
Over the past months, SpaceX has been testing the rockets of the Falcon Heavy, which is a crucial part of SpaceX founder Elon Musk’s plan to bring people to Mars by 2021.
Over the past months, SpaceX has been testing the rockets of the Falcon Heavy, which is a crucial part of SpaceX founder Elon Musk’s plan to bring people to Mars by 2021.Photos via Bloomberg