The US Air Force has completed the certification procedure for Falcon Heavy, a superheavy carrier rocket developed by the US aerospace company SpaceX. According to Aviation Week, the military also entered into a contract with SpaceX to launch the new AFSPC-52 control satellite. The launch is scheduled for September 2020, and the value of the contract is US $ 130 million.
Successful certification by the US Air Force means that the institution recognizes that the rockets are fully suitable for launching payloads into space, including classified systems. Usually, the certification procedure takes a considerable time. In particular, the US Air Force requires several test launches of the new carrier rockets to draw their conclusions and make a decision on certification.
In the case of Falcon Heavy, the procedure was reduced. Probably the Air Force had enough data provided by SpaceX after the first test launch in early February 2018. Under the terms of the contract signed by the US Air Force with SpaceX, Falcon Heavy will be launched with the satellite AFSPC-52 from Cabo. Reedbed. Other details of the agreement have not been disclosed.
Falcon Heavy is a superheavy carrier rocket that was developed based on Falcon 9, and that has the first three stages of the Falcon 9 Full Thrust. The rocket can take up to 63.8 tonnes of cargo to low Earth orbit, and up to 16.8 tonnes to Mars.
Earlier this year, the US company SpaceX published on its Instagram account a video of the Falcon Heavy rocket on the launching platform of Cape Canaveral.