1st SpaceX Falcon Heavy Blastoff 1 Year Later: Gallery

Maiden SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket blasts off from Launch Complex
39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Feb. 6, 2017.  Nose cone housing Starman seated in Tesla
Roadster is stenciled with Falcon Heavy logo.
Credit: Ken Kremer/SpaceUpClose.com/kenkremer.com

Ken Kremer — SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEM – 8 February 2019


KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL –  The 1st blastoff of the SpaceX
Falcon Heavy took place 1 year ago this week on Feb. 6, 2018 from historic
launch complex 39A at the  Kennedy Space
Center in Florida – and spectacularly propelled ‘Starman’ to the heavens and
beyond backdropped by the Blue Earth in CEO Elon Musk’s red Tesla Roadster in such
an unforgettable fashion that’s its become iconic in its own right.



SpaceX CEO Elon
Musk’s red Tesla sports car in orbit backdropped by Earth following Falcon
Heavy launch Feb. 6, 2018. Credit: SpaceX 

The picture perfect blastoff of the triple
barreled behemoth certified the vehicle as the new “World’s Most Powerful
Rocket” currently in operation. 

Beyond that the twin side boosters accomplished
near simultaneous side by side soft landing vertical touchdowns back at the Cape
just eight minutes after the thunderous debut liftoff – in a scene straight out
of science fiction, turned fact!!  

Thus on the occasion of
the remarkable 1st anniversary of Falcon Heavy-1 enjoy our wide ranging ‘Space UpClose’
gallery of photos and videos as we revisit that extraordinary day in space history.
 





And today we stand roughly 6 to 8 weeks away from
the 2nd launch of the Falcon Heavy slated to carry its 1st
commercial payload to geostationary orbit – the Arabsat 6A communications satellite
for Arabsat.
The
two 
SpaceX Falcon Heavy side boosters landed nearly
simultaneously, and side by side eight minutes after maiden liftoff
from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy
Space Center in Florida
on
Feb. 6, 2018.  
Credit: Ken
Kremer/SpaceUpClose.com/kenkremer.com




Maiden SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket blasts off from Launch Complex
39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Feb. 6, 2017. 
Credit: Ken Kremer/SpaceUpClose.com/kenkremer.com



The
inaugural test flight of the triple stick Falcon Heavy rocket lifted off magnificently
at 3:45 p.m. EST (2045 GMT) on
Feb. 6, 2018 f
rom
historic pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space
Center in Florida.  




Under gloriously sunny
Sunshine state skies the rockets 27 first stage Merlin 1D engines ignited to generate
nearly 5 million pounds of liftoff thrust.

Maiden SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket blasts off from Launch Complex
39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Feb. 6, 2017.  Nose cone housing Starman seated in Tesla
Roadster is stenciled with Falcon Heavy logo.
Credit: Ken Kremer/SpaceUpClose.com/kenkremer.com

The three core rocket generated
the loudest roar to space by far from the Florida Space Coast since NASA’s
space shuttles were retired back in July 2011.



The triple stick Falcon Heavy is comprised of a trio of Falcon 9
boosters.



Maiden SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket blasts off from Launch Complex
39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Feb. 6, 2017. 
Credit: Ken Kremer/SpaceUpClose.com/kenkremer.com




The three Falcon 9s include a significantly modified central core,
to deal with aerodynamic stresses, that is bolted together to a pair of
side-mounted cores with newly developed nose cones mounted in place of payload
fairings. 



Maiden SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket blasts off from Launch Complex
39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Feb. 6, 2017. 
Credit: Ken Kremer/SpaceUpClose.com/kenkremer.com




The two side cores were ‘flight-proven’ boosters that already
launched once and were recycled for the Heavy. 
They both previously flew as Falcon 9s on the Thaicomm 8 commercial
comsat mission and NASA’s Dragon CRS-9 space station resupply mission in May
and July 2016 after landing safely back at sea and land respectively on the
OCISLY droneship and Landing Zone-1 (LZ-1). 



Up
close view of SpaceX Falcon Heavy center booster nose cone loaded with Elon
Musk’s Tesla, side booster nose cones and grid fins. Debut
liftoff occurred Feb. 6, 2018.
Credit: Ken Kremer/SpaceUpClose.com/kenkremer.com




The gigantic two stage Falcon Heavy stands more than 229 feet (70 meters) tall and measures 39.9 feet wide
(12.2 meters).  It also features a dozen
grid fins and a dozen landing legs attached to the first stage boosters in an
attempt to soft land all three cores – by land and by sea. 

Maiden SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket blasts off from Launch Complex
39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Feb. 6, 2017. 
Credit: Ken Kremer/SpaceUpClose.com/kenkremer.com


SpaceX’s launch was
watched by over a 100,000 locally and millions more online around the world via
their live webcast.  Live streaming video was beamed back after fairing
separation and achieving preliminary orbit.  




SpaceX Falcon Heavy
streaks to orbit
after liftoff from Launch
Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Feb. 6, 2017. 
Credit: Ken Kremer/SpaceUpClose.com/kenkremer.com



And in a magnificent feat of wonder you had to see to believe
the two side mounted first stage boosters detached from the central booster and
returned to Earth accomplishing a near simultaneous rocket assisted precision
guided touchdown back at Cape Canaveral at SpaceX’s Landing Zones 1 and 2 (LZ-1
and LZ-2) some eight minutes after liftoff. 

Descent of the two recycled SpaceX Falcon Heavy side mounted boosters towards Landing
Zones 1 and 2 eight minutes after maiden liftoff
from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Feb. 6, 2018. 
Credit: Ken Kremer/SpaceUpClose.com/kenkremer.com


Watch for Ken’s
continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin,
Northrop Grumman and more space and mission reports direct from the Kennedy
Space Center, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida and Wallops Flight
Facility, Virginia.



Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and
Planetary science and human spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.com
–www.spaceupclose.com – twitter @ken_kremer – email: ken at kenkremer.com



Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the
KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed on TV and radio about space topics.




………….

Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events



In flight separation of both side mounted
booster from the center core of SpaceX Falcon Heavy
after liftoff from Launch
Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Feb. 6, 2017. 
Credit: Ken Kremer/SpaceUpClose.com/kenkremer.com




Ken Kremer

Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and more space and mission reports direct from Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Stay tuned here for Ken's continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news. Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics. Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events.

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