Запуски Falcon Heavy откладывают

За работой американской компании SpaceX мировое сообщество следит очень и очень внимательно, подмечая как неудачи, так и успехи. Проект Илона Маска стал символом новой космонавтики — частный проект, наполненный личным энтузиазмом, да ещё и с далеко идущими планами, не может не привлекать. Самая высокая цель Маска — пилотируемая миссия к Марсу, но по дороге к ней нужно решать промежуточные вопросы, в том числе и создать новую тяжелую ракету-носитель.

Falcon Heavy

SpaceX разрабатывает проект своей тяжелой ракеты из семейства Falcon уже 6 лет — в 2011 Илон Маск объявил о своем проекте на конференции в Национальном пресс-клубе в Вашингтоне. Изначально планировалось запустить Falcon Heavy в 2013 году, но старт постоянно откладывают, и «Сокол» на настоящий момент не взлетел ни разу.

Сама Falcon Heavy представляет из себя тяжелую ракету с двумя ступенями и ступенью-ускорителем. Все три ступени оборудованы двигателями Merlin разных модификаций, которые производят инженеры SpaceX. Ракета имеет внушительные габариты: 70 метров в высоту, 1,420 тонны веса и до 63 тонн полезной нагрузки, выводимой на низкую орбиту. Например, на Марс Falcon Heavy сможет привезти около 17 тонн. Общая стоимость «тяжелого сокола» составит $90 млн.

Пуск отложен

Портал Aviation Week, со ссылкой на президента компании SpaceX Гвинн Шотвелл, сообщает, что первый пуск Falcon Heavy, возможно, отложат. Планируется сначала провести огневые испытания всех 27 двигателей, а потом уже провести старт.

Пока SpaceX тестирует только части Falcon Heavy: в середине мая компания испытала главный ускоритель первой ступени, а в конце мая — боковые ускорители ракеты. И те и другие испытания прошли успешно, но первоначальный план запуска Falcon Heavy пришлось перенести на ноябрь. Ноябрьские испытания тоже не состоялись: по словам представителей компании, запуск не произойдет, пока все 27 двигателей не будут работать безупречно.

Falcon Heavy — новый тип ракет для SpaceX, поэтому их опасения понятны. Допустить крушения или аварии аппарата за $90 млн, да еще и при первом старте, было бы недопустимо для репутации компании, поэтому все проверяется досконально.

В отличие от Falcon9, которая дешевле на $28 млн, Falcon Heavy создается уже на весьма представительной материальной базе и набравшимися опыта инженерами, поэтому компания может позволить себе переносить и откладывать пуски.

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