Bloomberg revealed that Elon Musk’s aerospace company SpaceX plans to challenge Lockheed Martin and Boeing with a new rocket called the Falcon Heavy.
Lockheed and Boeing make NASA’s current rockets, the Delta IV Heavy, but the Falcon Heavy seems to outdo them on every front. According to Musk, it can transport 117,000 pounds of material, more than double the Delta IV’s capability, and do so at a fraction of the cost, around $1,000 a pound.
SpaceX already has a track record with NASA. They recently scored a $1.6 billion contract to deliver cargo to the International Space Station using one of their proprietary spacecraft, the Dragon.
Test launches of the Falcon Heavy are scheduled for late 2012. If the tests prove that it really is a superior rocket in terms of ability and economics, we’re very curious to see how Lockheed and Boeing respond.