Falcon Heavy's launch ushers in an era of cheaper, bolder space flight

Cesar Mills
February 8, 2018

More exciting than the space vehicle is perhaps the successful launch of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket - it is a monumental achievement for the company and for USA spaceflight.

And, at $90m per flight, the Falcon Heavy's services are much cheaper, and it can haul almost double the payload of its closest competitor into orbit. By way of progress, two of the rockets used last night had already flown and landed on other missions. The two outer boosters broke away mid-flight and returned to the Cape, touching down around 1,000 feet from one another on SpaceX's concrete landing pads - Landing Zone 1 and Landing Zone 2.

The launch aimed to test the reliability of Falcon Heavy's 27 kerosene engines, which are triple the number of engines the company's older rocket Falcon 9 has.

SpaceX and its founder Elon Musk have taken to Twitter to reveal that the Tesla Roadster launched into space served a higher goal and is equipped with a suite of cameras that are sending back images of the vehicle from outer space.

There was no immediate word on whether the center booster managed to touch down on a floating platform 300 miles offshore.

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The launch of Falcon Heavy comes after Falcon 9 was launched in December 2017. The launch pad is the same as the one used for Apollo 11's first manned mission to moon in 1969.

Musk confirmed late Tuesday that a final burn by the Falcon Heavy rocket's upper stage engine had successfully initiated a "trans-Mars injection" meant to boost the auto into an orbit around the sun stretching as far out as Mars. "It demonstrates his rocket can launch something heavy into space".

In the run up to launch, it wasn't at all clear that the rocket would work.

At liftoff, the Heavy will become the world's most powerful rocket in use today. The CEO says that SpaceX is already looking at the issue, and they might have video. Many people on social media seemed to agree.

The supercar, piloted by a mannequin nicknamed 'Starman, ' was due to enter an orbit around the sun similar to that occupied by Mars.

Other reports by GizPress

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