Today SpaceX made history, they successfully launched Falcon Heavy, the largest rocket currently on the planet.
The rocket is not as big as Saturn V that took man to the moon, but it signalled a new era for space exploration and more cost effective rocket launches. Elon Musk, one of the co-founders of SpaceX, decided to use one of his Tesla cars as the payload for this launch with a dummy named Starman in a space suit sat in the drivers seat. The car will now be floating in space for millions of years to come.
The Falcon Heavy rocket is basically made from three Falcon 9 rockets. This is the mainstay of the SpaceX programme that is currently sending payloads into space. The falcon heavy will be a cost effective way of sending bigger payloads into space, with the cost per launch reckoned to be around $90m per launch, a huge difference compared to its nearest rival which is the Delta IV rocket which costs around £435m per launch.
This was the first test launch if this beast that has 5 million pounds of thrust, and what a sight it was.
Side Booster Re-Entry
On most modern rocket launches, the boosters that are used to send these beasts into space are only used on a single launch. Once they detach, they fall into the sea, and using them again was unthinkable up until a few years ago.
SpaceX have revolutionised this and have made these rockets re-usable to a degree thuis bringing the costs down. On the Falcon Heavy there were 2 side boosters and once used for their purpose they detached, they then made their way back to earth and landed in Cape Canaveral and the video below certainly does not disappoint. The landing of these boosters really does look like something out of Star Wars or Star Trek, utterly awe inspiring.
Starman In Space
This is the footage of Starman in his Tesla orbiting earth shortly after launch. A stunning achievement today by SpaceX!
A successful launch of the largest rocket on the planet today, a successful landing of the side boosters and a Tesla with Starman floating in space. BRAVO SPACEX BRAVO.