The Most Powerful Rocket On Earth Carries Elon Musk’s Tesla Into Space
SpaceX successfully launched their Falcon Heavy rocket on Tuesday from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, U.S.
With this debut, the Falcon Heavy is now the world's most powerful rocket in operation, second only in strength to the rockets during the Apollo-era that took crews to the moon.
The Heavy is equipped with three boosters and 27 engines and designed to have more lift capability than any other operational rocket, with a payload of 64,000 kilograms to low earth orbit and 16,800 kilograms to trans-Mars injection.
For an added dramatic flair, Musk had his cherry-red Tesla Roadster on board the rocket. Aiming for a long, oval orbit around the sun, SpaceX expects the car as well as the mannequin strapped inside it wearing one of SpaceX’s spacesuits to orbit the sun for hundreds of millions of years.
“It’s kind of silly and fun, but silly and fun things are important,” Mr. Musk told NY Times.
This successful test flight marks a major step toward making spaceflight cheaper and more frequent option, making it easier for governments and businesses to lift massive projects into space or set off on deep space missions.
The mission also represents one of the best hopes humanity has to explore our nearby planets and eventually carry humans to Mars at a low cost.
While NASA’s planned SLS rocket, a comparable system, is expected to cost about $1bn per flight, SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy is estimated to cost $90m per launch.