Falcon Heavy; Cheaper Flights to Space
The rocket which is said to be ready for launch by late 2013 or early 2014 has the ability to carry satellites weighing over 53 metric tons to Low Eart Orbit. This, according to the company's website is the equivalent of a Boeing 737-200 loaded with passengers, making it the worlds largest.
During a press conference at the national press club in Washington DC, Spacex CEO Elon Musk said that the Falcon has the ability to carry more payload and escape velocity than any other vehicle in history.
It is estimated that a normal single rocket launch costs about $435M and a total of $1.74B for four launches that the US air force makes in a year. making it one of the big spenders of the US government. This means if the falcon was in use, it could save up to more than 1 billion a year, almost half of some poor African countries' annual budget.
The US government said it will turn the building of rockets to private sector late this year as part of the goal to minimize its expenditure on space exploration and focus mainly on commercial orbit transportation services.