Falcon Heavy, the high-capacity rocket created by SpaceX designed for bringing very large loads to orbit and beyond, will get its first launch this coming November, according to SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk.
Musk shared the news on Instagram on Thursday, posting an image of a concept depiction of the rocket’s launch alongside the target date. The Falcon Heavy uses the combined power of one Falcon 9 rocket flanked by two additional Falcon 9 boosters to propel up to around 30 tons to geostationary transfer orbit.
SpaceX had shared video of a static test fire of the Falcon Heavy core at its Texas facility earlier this year, and is working on targeting payload launches next year, with a first commercial launch planned for later in 2018.
This first test launch could have some very interesting results – Elon Musk himself set expectations during remarks made at this year’s International Space Station Research & Development conference earlier this month. Musk noted that it was unlikely the first launch would see the Falcon Heavy reach orbit, and in fact, he said he’d be happy if it didn’t result in any damage to the launch facility.
Falcon Heavy is a big part of Musk’s plan to further commercialize Earth orbit, and also to prepare for eventual crewed missions to Mars.