DON’T PANIC: Falcon Heavy and Starman are officially in orbit
And we have liftoff!
SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy shot into orbit Tuesday, off the very Cape Canaveral launch pad Apollo 11 astronauts waved goodbye from before landing on the moon nearly a half century ago.
The historic event marks the launch of the world’s most powerful rocket ever successfully sent into space by a private company.
One small step for mannequin, one giant leap for mannequin kind
The payload included one of Tesla’s cherry red, $100k e-roadsters blasting the orbital sounds of Bowie’s “Space Oddity” on repeat for all the universe to hear.
A well-dressed mannequin, appropriately named Starman, captained the ship for this test launch, due to the historically high failure rate of a rocket’s maiden voyage (here’s the footage of what he’s up to now).
With its massive size and force, the Falcon Heavy is capable of packing close to 64 metric tons into orbit. According to Forbes, that’s equivalent to a 737 airliner fully loaded with crew, passengers, luggage, and fuel.
“Where we’re going, we don’t need roads”
The Falcon Heavy’s current plan is to travel around 200m miles to link up with Mars’ orbit around the sun, where Starman, the roadster, and Bowie will circle for the next billion years.
But, with its successful launch, and 2 out of 3 boosters successfully recovered, the company has proved that economical yet powerful spaceflight is possible.
And, at $90m per flight, the Falcon Heavy’s services are much cheaper, and it can haul nearly double the payload of its closest competitor into orbit.
Ground control to Major Starman
In fact, SpaceX already has a gig lined up: hauling a large communications satellite for an operator in Saudi Arabia sometime in early 2018.
From towing satellites to hauling humans for a little lift to the moon, the sky is literally the limit for SpaceX’s future.
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