The Falcon 9 can lift 8.3 metric tons (18,300 lb) to geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) in its expendable form. Make the booster reusable with landing legs and fuel in reserve, it can lift up to 5.5 metric tons (12,125 lb) to GTO.
For the Falcon Heavy, the numbers are 22.2 metric tons (48,943 lb) for the expendable version and up to 8 metric tons (17,637 lb) for the reusable variant. The Falcon Heavy has yet to fly and is running nearly four years behind SpaceX’s original schedule. The latest flight date is at the end of this year.
SpaceX is charging $62 million for the Falcon 9 and $90 million for the Falcon Heavy. The company has not yet set prices for a launch with a reused first stage, but officials have estimated prices could be set around $40 million for the Falcon 9.
Musk was asked on Twitter whether the posted performance figures were for the current versions of the boosters or future variants. He elaborated in a series of Tweets:
“Basically current, but higher throttle setting. Good performance of recent launches allows us to reduce 3 sigma reserve margin”
“No physical changes to the engine. This thrust increase is based on delta qual tests. It is just tougher than we thought.”
“F9 thrust at liftoff will be raised to 1.71M lbf later this year. It is capable of 1.9M lbf in flight.”
“Falcon Heavy thrust will be 5.1M lbf at liftoff — twice any rocket currently flying. It’s a beast…”
The table also shows payload capacity for the two rockets for Mars missions. Falcon 9 can send just over 4 metric tons (8,860 lb) to Mars while Falcon Heavy can send 13.6 metric tons (29,980 lb) to the Red Planet.