Elon Musk Announces SpaceX Falcon Heavy Launch Date—World’s Most Powerful Rocket to Blast Off February 6

SpaceX will launch its much-anticipated Falcon Heavy rocket on February 6, CEO Elon Musk announced Saturday. The mammoth craft is set to become the most powerful operational rocket in the world when it lifts off.

Musk shared the news on Twitter, writing: “Aiming for first flight of Falcon Heavy on Feb 6 from Apollo launchpad 39A at Cape Kennedy. Easy viewing from the public causeway.”

The inaugural flight will blast off from Apollo launchpad 39A at the John F Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Meritt Island, Florida. Space fans can travel to the KSC visitor complex to watch the launch. If you want to see it up close you’ll have to hurry as tickets for the closest-range seats have already sold out.

1_29_Falcon Heavy Falcon 9 A Falcon Heavy and Falcon 9 launch in this artist's impression. SpaceX/Public Domain

Last week, Musk shared photographs from the Falcon Heavy’s static fire test. The rocket was fixed down and its engines fired up for the test. He wrote: “Falcon Heavy hold-down firing this morning was good. Generated quite a thunderhead of steam.”

The Falcon Heavy is essentially three smaller Falcon 9 rockets fastened together. Falcon 9s have been used to deliver supplies to the International Space Station and to launch mysterious government payloads. Each Falcon 9 uses nine engines to blast into space. The Falcon Heavy will use 27.

SpaceX hopes the rocket will one day carry a human crew into space. Capable of carrying a payload of 140,000 pounds into low Earth orbit, the rocket is only beaten by the Saturn V Apollo moon program rocket, which could carry up to 310,000 pounds. Intended to eventually ferry to Mars, the Falcon Heavy could carry up to 37,000 pounds to the Red Planet.

The Falcon Heavy’s first passenger will be Musk’s own red sports car. He shared the news on Instagram late last year, writing: “The payload will be an original Tesla Roadster, playing Space Oddity, on a billion year elliptic Mars orbit.” Billionaire Musk is also CEO of Tesla Motors.

The goal of a Mars orbit might be a little ambitious, however. Musk himself told last year’s International Space Station Research and Development conference in Washington, D.C.: “I hope it makes it far enough away from the pad that it does not cause pad damage. I would consider even that a win, to be honest.”