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  1. On the heels of the announcement that the Falcon Heavy rocket will make its debut launch in November, SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to social media to share a first draft animation of how the much-anticipated rocket might look. “There’s a lot of risk associated with Falcon Heavy, a real good chance that that vehicle does not make it to orbit. I want to make sure to set expectations accordingly. I hope it makes it far enough beyond the pad so that it does not cause pad damage. I would consider even that a win, to be honest,” Musk said, according to Spaceflight Now. SpaceX has slated two Falcon Heavy tests for the first half of 2018, depending on how the November test goes. Musk has confirmed that both side cores will land at LZ-1, SpaceX’s land-based landing facilities, and the center core will land on Of Course I Still Live You somewhere in the Atlantic. While not guaranteed, Musk’s myriad comments on the spectacular nature of the launch mean that SpaceX’s live coverage will offer some memorable views. As our own Eric Ralph said, “If Falcon Heavy does indeed lift off above a more controlled fireball later this year, fans can look forward to what will be a stunning show of force.” Source
  2. All three Falcon Heavy cores are believed to be at Cape Canaveral As we inch closer to SpaceX returning to a regular launch schedule, evidence is adding up that Falcon Heavy is fast approaching launch readiness. Current best guesses peg the first launch from LC-40 in late August or sometime in September, fitting nicely with Musk’s Falcon Heavy launch estimate of November. Falcon Heavy will nevertheless likely require several weeks of fit checks, wet dress rehearsals (like a static fire but without the ignition), and one or several static fires before its first official launch attempt. While Musk has recently been on a warpath of expectation management for Falcon Heavy, going so far as to imply that a failure was a likely outcome, let there be no doubt that SpaceX and Musk will privately do everything realistically possible to ensure a safe launch. If major issues are discovered during pre-launch testing, SpaceX will almost certainly scrub the launch indefinitely. However, if Falcon Heavy does indeed lift off above a more controlled fireball later this year, fans can look forward to what will be a stunning show of force. Musk once again confirmed that both side cores will land at LZ-1, SpaceX’s land-based landing facilities, and the center core will land on Of Course I Still Live You somewhere in the Pacific. While not guaranteed, Musk’s myriad comments on the spectacular nature of the launch mean that SpaceX’s live coverage will offer some truly incredibly views. Fans have long eagerly anticipated the synchronized landings of the side cores, as well as possible live shots of booster separation during the launch. At the ISSR&D Conference, Musk reiterated the fact that SpaceX’s primary focus is preparation for Commercial Crew. LC-39A is needed for SpaceX’s crewed launches, so it is highly unlikely that the company will risk a Falcon Heavy launch if there is anything more than the slimmest of chances of the pad being lost in a launch failure. Regardless of the outcome, as Musk himself has often said, Falcon Heavy’s inaugural launch is guaranteed to be a spectacle. The post SpaceX preparing for an inaugural November launch of Falcon Heavy appeared first on TESLARATI.com. Via
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