|How SpaceX's monster Mars rocket compares to the most powerful rockets in the world |
Rob Ludacer and Jessica Orwig
With the announcements of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy and Big Falcon Rocket, Blue Origin's New Glenn, and NASA's Space Launch System, it can be tough to tell one rocket apart from the other. Following is a transcription of the video.
NASA’s Saturn V rocket was the pinnacle of technology during the Apollo era. More than 40 years after its final flight, it’s still the world’s most powerful rocket. But that’s finally about to change.
NASA, SpaceX, and Blue Origin are developing their most impressive rockets yet. Here’s how America’s monster rockets of the future measure up to NASA’s moon rocket
Saturn V - 363 feet tall
Falcon Heavy - 229 feet tall
BFR - 348 feet tall
SLS - 365 feet tall
New Glenn Rocket - 326 feet tall
At peak performance, the Saturn V could lift 310,000 pounds to orbit. That’s equivalent to the weight of 33 African elephants respectively (avg. African elephant weighs 9500 pounds.)
Some of these payloads are subject to change, but here’s an estimate of how much each rocket can carry to space.
Saturn V - 310,000 lbs (33 elephants)
Falcon Heavy - 119,000 lbs (12.5 elephants)
SLS - 286,000 lbs (30 elephants)
BFR - 330,000 lbs (34 elephants)
New Glenn Rocket - 99,210 lbs (10 elephants)
The Falcon Heavy will be the first rocket since Saturn V capable of sending humans to the Moon, though it won’t be quite as powerful. Blue Origin’s New Glenn rocket will compete with SpaceX for commercial satellite launches.
But the real monsters of the group are NASA’s Space Launch System and SpaceX’s Big Falcon Rocket. Both will out power the Saturn V and are designed to eventually launch humans to Mars.
Now, let’s check out the true test of a rocket’s power — its thrust.
Saturn V - 7.6 million pounds (42 Boeing 747s)
Falcon Heavy - 5.1 million pounds (28 Boeing 747s)
SLS - 9.2 million pounds (51 Boeings)
BFR - 11.8 million pounds (66 Boeings)
New Glenn - 3.85 million pounds (21 Boeings)
The Saturn V generated 7.6 million pounds of thrust at liftoff
That’s equivalent to the same propulsive power as 42 Boeing 747s
(referring to Boeing 747-400 model, which has 4 engines that produce 44,700 lbs of thrust each)
Before the decade is up, we can expect to see at least a couple of these rockets roar to life for the first time.
SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy is scheduled for its maiden voyage in early 2018. NASA’s SLS will likely take flight two years later in June 2020, and we can hope to see New Glenn launch by 2020.
The era of monster rockets is fast approaching. Can you hear the engines, yet?
click on link above to see video