Falcon Heavy

Over 5 Million Lbs of Thrust

Falcon Heavy is composed of three reusable Falcon 9 nine-engine cores whose 27 Merlin engines together generate more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff, equal to approximately eighteen 747 aircraft. As one of the world’s most powerful operational rockets, Falcon Heavy can lift nearly 64 metric tons (141,000 lbs) to orbit.

Falcon Heavy


HEIGHT 70 m / 229.6 ft
WIDTH 12.2 m / 39.9 ft
MASS 1,420,788 kg / 3,125,735 lb
PAYLOAD TO LEO 63,800 kg / 140,660 lb
PAYLOAD TO GTO 26,700 kg / 58,860 lb
PAYLOAD TO MARS 16,800 kg / 37,040 lb

Falcon Heavy

First stage

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Three cores make up the first stage of Falcon Heavy. The side cores, or boosters, are connected on the nosecone, the interstage, and on the octaweb. Shortly after liftoff the center core engines are throttled down. After the side cores separate, the center core engines throttle back up to full thrust.

Falcon Heavy


The interstage is a composite structure that connects the center core on the first stage and second stages and holds the release and separation system.

Grid fins

Falcon Heavy is equipped with 12 hypersonic grid fins, four on each booster, positioned at the base of the interstage or nosecone which orients by moving the center of pressure during reentry.

Falcon Heavy

Second Stage

Falcon Heavy draws upon Falcon 9’s proven design, which minimizes stage separation events and maximizes reliability. The second-stage Merlin Vacuum Engine delivers the rocket’s payload to orbit after the main engines cut off and the first-stage cores separate.

BURN TIME 397 sec
THRUST 981 kN / 220,500 lbf

Falcon Heavy


Made of a carbon composite material, the fairing protects satellites on their way to orbit. SpaceX is recovering fairings for reuse on future missions.

HEIGHT 13.1 m / 43 ft
DIAMETER 5.2 m / 17.1 ft


Falcon Heavy First Flight

Unmatched Performance

With more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff, Falcon Heavy is one of the most capable rockets flying. By comparison, the liftoff thrust of the Falcon Heavy equals approximately eighteen 747 aircraft at full power. Falcon Heavy can lift the equivalent of a fully loaded 737 jetliner—complete with passengers, luggage and fuel—to orbit.




Merlin is a family of rocket engines developed by SpaceX for use on its Falcon 1, Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch vehicles. Merlin engines use RP-1 and liquid oxygen as rocket propellants in a gas-generator power cycle. The Merlin engine was originally designed for recovery and reuse.

THRUST 845 kN / 190,000 lbf
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