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Watch Elon Musk launch his Tesla Roadster toward Mars

07 Février 2018

Falcon Heavy is the name of a highly anticipated SpaceX rocket that's set to launch for the first time on Tuesday.

- SpaceX successfully launched what is now the world's most powerful rocket Tuesday, a towering behemoth known as the Falcon Heavy that tore through the sky with the thundering force of 18 Boeing 747 jetliners. If SpaceX decides not to launch the rocket by 4:00 p.m., due to either technical or weather issues, they'll try again the following day. Together, these cores generate more than 5 million pounds of thrust and allow the rocket to carry more than 140,000 pounds of cargo into low-Earth orbit. The Mars-obsessed Musk has taken it upon himself and his California-based aerospace company to bankroll the hulking rocket.

Cape Canaveral, the launch location, has not seen this kind of excitement since the last space shuttle flight in 2011.

"That's what Falcon Heavy can do".

The SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket has been in the plans to launch for a long time.

Falcon Heavy is a small step on that journey but it is still a very large machine.

The Heavy is capable of delivering, in one fell swoop, 140,660 pounds (63,800 kilograms) of cargo to low-Earth orbit, almost 60,000 pounds (26,700 kilograms) to high-Earth orbit, 37,000 pounds (16,800 kilograms) to Mars, or 7,700 pounds (3,500 kilograms) to Pluto. Beyond that, several experimental milestones will provide even more information to the team. The Falcon's sole passenger will be SpaceX CEO Elon Musk's cherry red Tesla Roadster, which will soar through space while blasting David Bowie's "Space Oddity".

"Test flights of new rockets usually contain mass simulators in the form of concrete or steel blocks", Musk wrote on Instagram.

"It's hard for me to overstate the importance of the launch today", said Lori Garver, a former NASA deputy administrator.

At max velocity, the Roadster will travel 11 kilometres per second and travel 400 million kilometres from Earth.

An illustration of Falcon Heavy's Tesla Roadster payload on its way to Mars. "At times, it will come extremely close to Mars, and there is a tiny, tiny chance that it will hit Mars". When asked if he anxious at all about the state of his vehicle, Elon responded, 'No, I'm not anxious about the auto. Falcon Heavy is set to carry a large communications satellite into orbit for Arabsat of Saudi Arabia.

SpaceX is in the business of making getting into orbit a lot cheaper, and Falcon Heavy is yet the latest example.

If Musk can deliver heavy lift at a low price, he could energize the entire rocketry sector, bringing the much-touted power of commercial competition to an industry that has been able to fatten up on a consistent diet of defense contracts without having to innovate much.

The cores will attempt to land back on Earth once they detach and head back to Cape Canaveral.

Does the Falcon Heavy have any competitors?

However, because of the historically high failure rate of maiden flights, SpaceX is only carrying a dummy payload. Its location at Kennedy Space Center keeps people at least three miles away, a distance determined by NASA in the 1960s to be safe just in case the Saturn V exploded on the pad. SpaceX leases Launch Complex 39A from NASA. Now, SpaceX is finally readyto launch.

Watch Elon Musk launch his Tesla Roadster toward Mars