From the blue Florida skies and billowing white smoke on takeoff, to the incredible double upright in-sync landings of the two booster rockets, the team couldn't have asked for a better show.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said at a press event for the just-launched Falcon Heavy that SpaceX will now begin focusing in earnest on "BFR", the code name for its next big space launch vehicle. Musk plans to put the auto into orbit around the sun. Musk said at a conference, adding, "But then everything changes".
SpaceX has said it plans to use the rocket to launch an Arabsat satellite built by Lockheed Martin (LMT) sometime early this year.
"I'm still trying to absorb everything that happened because it's still kind of surreal to me", Musk told reporters after the launch.
"SpaceX, between current computer control systems and their careful manufacturing, has apparently solved the problem necessary to send something into orbit with that many engines", Timmer said.
SpaceX has successfully launched a rocket into space and social media is loving it as they cheer "Bravo and Godspeed".
Musk has plenty of experience with rocket accidents, from his original Falcon 1 test flights to his follow-up Falcon 9s, one of which exploded on a nearby pad during a 2016 ignition test. Prior to the launch, SpaceX put this simulation of the launch on YouTube. If it goes badly and the pad is destroyed, it could take up to a year to restore the site before launches can resume, though rocket production would continue during that time, he said. The second-stage Merlin engine, identical to its counterpart on Falcon 9, delivers the rocket's payload to orbit after the main engines cut off and the first-stage cores separate.
Falcon Heavy draws upon the proven heritage and reliability of Falcon 9.
The Tesla Roadster is supposed to be sent into a virtually indefinite solar orbit, on a path taking it as far from Earth as Mars.
Onboard Falcon Heavy is Musk's beloved red Tesla Roadster, which is acting as experimental cargo. Called "Starman in a Red Roadster", the dummy flew into history to the tune of David Bowie's "Space Oddity". As a secondary mission, SpaceX attempted to land all three of those rocket cores.
Eight minutes after the rocket took off, two of the three Falcon 9 core stages that helped power the vehicle out of the lower atmosphere made rocket-powered descents to side-by-side touchdowns at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, generating thunderous sonic booms as they slowed for landing.
Bigger, more capable robots to go to the surface of Mars, or to visit the outer planets such as Jupiter and Saturn, and their moons.
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