SpaceX unveils plans for world’s most powerful rocket

April 6th, 2011 - 1:15 pm ICT by ANI  

London, April 6 (ANI): Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX), an American space transport company, has unveiled plans for a new rocket that it says will be the world’s most powerful.

The California-based firm, headed by PayPal co-founder Elon Musk, has already successfully flown two other rockets, the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9.

SpaceX has a NASA contract to deliver cargo to the International Space Station using its existing Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon space capsule.

In a press briefing in Washington DC, Musk announced plans for a much more powerful rocket called the Falcon Heavy.

It will be able to lift 53 tonnes to low-Earth orbit, more than any other rocket in existence. Only one other rocket in history has ever been able to lift more: The Saturn V rockets, used by NASA to send astronauts to the moon, could each lift 118 tonnes to low-Earth orbit.

“This opens a new world of capability for both government and commercial space missions,” New Scientist quoted Musk as saying.

The company plans to launch the rocket for the first time in 2013 or 2014 on a test flight.

SpaceX plans to use the rocket to carry satellites to geosynchronous orbit and one day, perhaps to send astronauts to the moon or Mars. (ANI)

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