Elon Musk says successful maiden flight for Falcon Heavy unlikely (Update)
The billionaire said that combining three Falcon 9 rockets together had multiplied vibrations throughout the vehicle making it difficult to test without a launch
SpaceX CEO and founder Elon Musk has downplayed the chances of a successful inaugural flight for his Falcon Heavy space launch vehicle, admitting there is a “good chance it would not make it to orbit in its first launch.”
Development of the booster rocket, which is powered by 27 engines, has proven to be “way harder than the team initially thought,” he told the International Space Station Research and Development conference on Wednesday.
Falcon Heavy will be the most powerful rocket booster in the world, capable of delivering a 54 ton payload into orbit.
Musk said that combining three Falcon 9 rockets together had multiplied vibrations throughout the vehicle making it difficult to test without a launch.
The maiden test flight is due to take place toward the end of the year.
The billionaire added that the best way to re-invigorate public interest in space was to build a lunar colony.
“If you want to get the public fired up, you’ve got to put a base on the moon,” he said, in order to continue the dream of the Apollo missions.