If the words of Elon Musk are to be followed to the letter, he is to pass away on Mars, not Earth. According to the SpaceX CEO, humans are to soon take the next into becoming a multi-planetary species, a goal that has been chased by all of SpaceX since it was established in 2002. To make this possible, the company first needs to launch a large volume of manpower as well as sufficient resources into space. And Musk is placing his bets on his own Falcon Heavy, one of the most powerful rockets on this planet.
The Need for Larger Rockets
Large scale object launches will certainly require a massive thrust that can be provided by heavy rockets. The Saturn V that was used to launch the Apollo missions was by far the biggest successful launch, and the Mars missions that SpaceX wants to do will require far greater power behind them. One of the core issues with creating a new massive rocket is the lack of backers for it financially. Nobody would want to go into a vehicle without there being a feasible destination. The other option that Musk wants to try out is to essentially tie up more rockets together to make one, big, powerful rocket. The only issue against this is that most space rockets ever created have been made for a one-time use, but SpaceX has long been trying out its hand at reusable rockets.
The Launch on Paper
There would be two stages to the launch, much like any typical launch: the first stage off the launchpad, and the second stage to push the payload out of Earth’s gravitational pull. To get through stage one, SpaceX intends to use three conventional first stage launchers from its current Falcon 9. Essentially, the Falcon Heavy will carry off 27 of SpaceX’s proprietary Merlin engines, each of which is capable of creating 190,000 pounds per feet of thrust at sea level itself.