One of the problems with the SpaceX booth at the 30th Space Symposium last week is they only displayed their Falcon 9 rocket (and the landing legs were the wrong color–black–instead of the white a real Falcon 9 booster is painted with). Of course, it’s the only rocket that SpaceX uses so far. The other problem, by the way–not that many reps on the floor. But back to the rockets. We know SpaceX will be building other rockets, including the Falcon Heavy. But those models were nowhere to be seen. Instead, they showed some videos of their test models, like the Falcon 9 Reusable, in action.
They didn’t even have a mock-up of their new Dragon Version 2 capsule on the floor. It’s supposed to be the next generation of crewed capsule. Like the Falcon 9 rocket, the capsule is supposed to eventually be reusable. Of course SpaceX did introduce it only last night. The video of that event is below.
Fear not. Space.com has a picture gallery for you of the Falcon Heavy in simulated flight. This is the rocket SpaceX would love to use for some of the heavier government payloads. It doesn’t really exist yet, and has never been flown. It’s not projected to be ready for testing until 2015. Which is also probably the reason why the government really doesn’t want to use the Falcon Heavy–it’s not a proven technology just yet. Compare that with the United Launch Alliance’s (ULA’s) offerings (models shown below), and it’s easy to see why the government keeps going along with the ULA as a contract partner–more options that are proven (albeit REALLY expensive). Still doesn’t excuse the willingness to keep a monopoly secure, though.