Last week on February 6th, 2018 Space X launched the falcon heavy into space to orbit the sun. The mission was accomplished by shooting this three stage rocket from NASA’s space station in Florida. This launch was to test the power of the Falcon Heavy’s new booster that was only tested a few months ago. Space X along with Elon Musk, owner of Space X, were very concerned about the rocket being launched so early, but it all worked out for them.
The most insane part of this is that 2 of the 3 boosters landed back on earth successfully as shown in the picture above. The third booster lost control and landed into the ocean with a speed of over 30,000mph. That third booster was suppose to land on a barge in the ocean after breaking off from the rocket.
This rocket is planned to be used to transfer supplies into orbit or even to the moon which is the next destination. The rocket can carry a total payload of a little bit over 140,000lbs. The rockets were so powerful that the planned trajectory, to orbit the sun, changed and now it is headed to Mars!
The funniest part of this event is that Elon Musk put a roadster as the payload in the rocket! To add to the effect he put a dummy in a space suit in the driver seat. On the screen in the car is text saying “DON’T PANIC”. Hopefully life on mars will be able to take advantage of the car.
Space X has already lost video feed from the car itself due to the batteries in the camera’s dying, isn’t that ironic! To add to the humor the dummy had one hand on the steering wheel and the other on the outside, almost as if he was cruising down the highway.
Realistically, this is a major success for Space X as it continues to be funded by the government and by investors. The rocket only costs $90 million dollars to launch which may sound like a lot, but is only a small chunk of change for Elon Musk. Landing the boosters back on earth can help reduce the amount of metal being landed in the ocean as well allow for re-usability. This re-usability will allow the rocket to be launched more often than usual and in the long run allow us to reach mars! Space X and Elon Musk are looking forward to building the next rocket which will be name BFR, which stands for Big Falcon Rocket. This will hopefully allow us to travel further than we have ever flew before.