SpaceX Targets Heavy Lifting Rocket

Hawthorne-based SpaceX, the commercial rocket firm headed by technology mogul Elon Musk, is announcing this morning new plans to create a "Falcon Heavy" rocket, able to lift twice the payload of the Delta IV Heavy into orbit. SpaceX said that the Falcon Heavy will be able to lift up to 53 metric tons (117,000 lb) into low earth orbit. The firm said that the Falcon Heavy matches the capability of only the Saturn V moon rocket -- last launched in 1973 -- in terms of lifting capability. SpaceX said it will cost $80M to $125M for a single payload launch using the Falcon Heavy, which says it is a huge cost savings from the current $435M average per launch cost of the current Delta IV Heavy.