SpaceX Falcon Heavy towers over historic Apollo launchpad

Feast your eyes on what is soon to be the most powerful operational rocket in the world.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
2 min read

Elon Musk is in the business of making his dreams come true. The latest is the spectacular sight of SpaceX's massive Falcon Heavy rocket gracing the historic Apollo mission launchpad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. 

SpaceX posted a silent video to social media on Tuesday showing sweeping views of the rocket. You don't need a soaring soundtrack to feel humbled by its imposing presence. 

The company wrote, "With more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff -- equal to approximately eighteen 747 aircraft at full power -- Falcon Heavy will be the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two." The Falcon Heavy is like a Falcon 9 rocket on a double dose of steroids.

Pad 39A hosted a series of historic Apollo launches, including Apollo 11, the first manned moon mission, in 1969. This particular Falcon Heavy won't carry any humans on board, but Musk intends to use it to send his red Tesla off to orbit Mars. 

Musk posted an Instagram photo in December showing the car prepped as cargo:


Elon Musk's personal Tesla will fly along on the Falcon Heavy's first test flight.

Elon Musk

Musk wrote, "The payload will be an original Tesla Roadster, playing Space Oddity, on a billion year elliptic Mars orbit."

Human spaceflight is on the future menu for the big rocket. SpaceX says, "Falcon Heavy was designed from the outset to carry humans into space and restores the possibility of flying missions with crew to the Moon or Mars."

SpaceX is expected to conduct some tests of the rocket and has not yet announced a launch date. In case you want more after watching the video, SpaceX also posted a scenic photo on Flickr showing the rocket in all its glory:


SpaceX shows off the Falcon Heavy rocket on the launchpad.