Graphic: How SpaceX plans to take another step toward the moon, Mars


Tuesday's inaugural SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch rocket is SpaceX's 230-foot-tall answer to heavy-lift demands, which will allow the company to boost heavier payloads to orbit and target moon and Mars missions. Though technically far more complex, it appears to be three Falcon 9 cores strapped together. The Falcon Heavy rocket configuration will generate thrust equal to approximately eighteen 747 aircraft at liftoff and is designed to one day carry humans into space. At a set altitude, the two first stage rocket booster engines are cut off. The main rocket continues to fire as the boosters fall away.