SpaceX’s 2022 launch manifest is packed with Falcon Heavy rocket launches! It is the world’s most powerful operational rocket, and the third highest capacity launch vehicle ever to reach orbit - following NASA’s Saturn V rocket and Russia’s Energia rocket which are no longer operational. Falcon Heavy is comprised of three modified Falcon 9 first-stage boosters connected side-by-side, with 27 Merlin 1D engines that are capable of producing 5.1 million pounds of thrust at liftoff! SpaceX attempts to recover all three Falcon cores with synchronized propulsive landings that is always impressive to watch.
Falcon Heavy has only performed three missions since 2018. The first was a demonstration flight test that launched the iconic Tesla Roadster carrying Starman on a voyage through deep space. SpaceX’s second Falcon Heavy mission deployed a telecommunications satellite for Arabsat in April 2019. The third flight took place on June 2019, it launched the U.S. Department of Defense Space Test Program payload composed of 25 small spacecraft.
After a long gap, SpaceX has multiple Falcon Heavy missions planned for 2022 that will all lift off from historic Launch Complex-39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. SpaceX initially aimed to launch a Falcon Heavy flight for the U.S. Space Force (USSF) this year. Military representatives said that the mission has been delayed until next year due to payload readiness. The mission, known as USSF-44, will deploy a pair of payloads directly into geosynchronous orbit, one is the military’s TETRA-1 satellite the other payload is a classified payload. The company now targets to launch USSF-44 during the first half of next year.
Falcon Heavy will also launch another national security mission, USSF-52, that will deploy an undisclosed payload during the second quarter of 2022. The U.S. Space Force might also decide to launch the USSF-67 mission atop a Falcon Heavy rocket, depending on its payload requirements.
The most exciting mission to look forward to will occur in August 2022, SpaceX Falcon Heavy will launch NASA’s Psyche spacecraft on a robotic mission to explore a 140-miles-wide metal-rich asteroid called '16-Psyche’. “Falcon Heavy will launch NASA Psyche! The mission, for which NASA requires the highest level of launch vehicle reliability, will study a metal asteroid between Mars and Jupiter to help humanity better understand the formation of our solar system’s planets,” SpaceX stated.
Falcon Heavy is also set to deploy a commercial mission that will launch a ViaSat-3 broadband communications satellite toward geostationary orbit, scheduled for the end of 2022.
Featured Image Source: SpaceX