Hawthorne, Ca – SpaceX's Falcon Heavy has promised to be the heavy-lift workhorse of our generation; however, with the Falcon 9 Block 5, Falcon Heavy has become more obsolete – Starship will also replace Falcon Heavy's capabilities when it comes online. SpaceX, however, has a solution for this.
Elon Musk announced on Twitter that they are developing a "Falcon Heavy Lite," capable of taking about 35,000 kg to LEO. This variant of the Falcon Heavy appears to be just the same rocket, albeit without a second stage. From the Twitter thread, Elon Musk said,
"Falcon Heavy Lite will use its boosters to lift it up to about 50km, then the boosters will separate and the core will get the payload all the way to orbit. This rocket was designed for payloads that are too economically light for Starship, but too heavy for F9."
From this quote and some conversations with SpaceX employees, we at Apogee have the idea that FH Lite will only ignite its 2 boosters on the pad, then ignite the core booster about 10 seconds before separating its boosters. Due to the higher fuel consumption per booster, we are also expecting the core to be expended and the boosters to land on SpaceX's two Atlantic droneships.
Original image credits: SpaceX
Photoshop: The KSP Maniac
Note: None of this is real, please don't take it seriously.