Recently, Elon Musk-owned SpaceX launched the Falcon Heavy rocket into a geosynchronous Earth orbit from the Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, U.S.
- This is considered as a National Security Space Launch for the U.S. military.
- This is the fourth launch of the giant rocket system, and the first one in nearly three years since its last launch in 2019.
- SpaceX claims Falcon Heavy to be the most powerful rocket in the world today by a factor of two.
- With a lifting capacity of around 64 metric tonnes into orbit, Falcon Heavy can lift more than twice the payload of the next closest operational vehicle, the Delta IV Heavy.
- Falcon Heavy has 27 Merlin engines which together generate more than five million pounds of thrust at lift-off, equalling around eighteen 747 aircraft at full power.
- The rocket can lift the equivalent of a fully loaded 737 jetliner, complete with passengers, luggage and fuel, to orbit.
- Merlin is a family of rocket engines developed by SpaceX for use on its Falcon 1, Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch vehicles.
- Merlin engines use RP-1 and liquid oxygen as rocket propellants in a gas-generator power cycle.
- These engines were designed for recovery and reuse.