History may not have repeated itself, but it sure seemed to rhyme as Elon Musk’s super-powered rocket “Falcon Heavy” charged into the sky — from the very same launch pad NASA once sent astronauts to the moon.
The launch happened Tuesday at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida as SpaceX unleashed its turbocharged version of Falcon 9, carrying some very costly, if not to mention heavy, items.
Musk, who also heads up electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla, stated that the rocket would be carrying a cherry-red Tesla Roadster, code-named Starman in honor of David Bowie’s song that played for an undetermined amount of time.
Cameras catching the successful launch saw the two side boosters slowly landing back down at the Kennedy Center, while the center booster reportedly landed out of site on a drone-ship in the sea.
And the important launch wasn’t without some phenomenal views, both from the ground and high above.
The rocket contained 27 engines altogether, with enough thrust to generate more than 5 million pounds — nearly the same as 18 Boeing 747 aircraft — and had the capability of lifting more than 64 tons (141,000 pounds) into outer space.
That’s twice as much as United Launch Alliance’s “Delta IV Heavy,” according to Fox News, at nearly one-third of the cost.
It is also the first time a rocket as out-performing as the Falcon Heavy has been sent into space by a private company, rather than a government space agency, creating a memorable milestone in spaceflight.
And it seems the successful, if not risky, launch paid off as it became a small step closer to Musk’s goal of sending a crew to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.
“I feel giddy and happy, actually,” Musk said in a press conference. “I’m super-confident we’ve done everything we can to achieve maximum success of this mission.”
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