JACKSONVILLE, Fla - The successful launch of the most powerful operational rocket by SpaceX changed space history and expectations for what's next will be even bigger.
First, SpaceX proved the conceptual Falcon Heavy rocket design is the most cost efficient and opens the door to mining asteroids, traveling to the moon or putting people on Mars in the near future.
Later this year two space tourists are scheduled to fly around the moon on the rocket with upgraded booster architecture.
The amazing fete of launching Starman, the mannequin, behind the Tesla wheel on a billion year orbit around Mars will soon be overshadowed by SpaceX's next plans to go even bigger.
The company has already begun building a rocket called Big Falcon Rocket or "BFR", which it first announced in September 2017 to support long-duration spaceflight in the lunar and Mars missions.
The fast track plan has the BFR replacing the Falcon Heavy rocket and all existing SpaceX vehicles in the early 2020s.
Keep in mind this is all privately funded without any governmental support.
SpaceX expects it will reduce cost savings significantly which will help the company justify developing the BFR.
Even though Falcon Heavy is the first heavy-lift rocket that can boost 2 times as much mass into orbit compared to its competitor at at one-quarter the cost, it's boosters aren't enough to move humans onto Mars.
“The great thing about Falcon heavy is that it opens up a new class of payload,” says Space X CEO Elon Musk. “It could launch one more than twice as much payload as any other rocket in the world, so it’s up to customers what they might want to launch. But it can launch things direct to Pluto and beyond. No stop needed.”
Elon Musk's timeline shows no waste. The next bigger BFR rocket construction is scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2018, with first suborbital flights planned for 2019.
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