On 6th February, around 3.45 pm ET, Space X launched Falcon Heavy, believed to be the world’s most powerful rocket from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It was made up of three core stages powered by nine engines each, which when fired up presented a dazzling sight for the onlookers.
“I’m still trying to absorb everything that happened because it’s still kind of surreal to me,” Elon Musk who helms the pioneering rocket firm told reporters after the launch.
Thousands of people gathered to witness the historic launch streamed live by the company that gained over 3 million views. Apart from the rocket’s smooth take off, what made the event truly spectacular was the sight of two of the three Falcon 9 core stages that had aided in propelling the rocket into lower atmosphere, land side by side on the launch pad almost 8 minutes after the launch. This is part of Space X’s strategy to cut down the cost of launches by reusing recaptured boosters for future launches. The central core stage however crashed into the Atlantic as it ran out of propellant during its descent.
On board the spacecraft is Musk’s personal Tesla Roadster which he intends to launch into an orbit around the sun. In the live video streaming of the car on YouTube, a space-suited mannequin “Starman” could be seen in the driver’s seat with a “DON’T PANIC” sign on the dashboard.
Musk had earlier said that the car would play David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” on repeat. The Tesla is a substitute for the typical dummy payloads or mass simulators that new rockets carry on their maiden flights.
Provided Space X can establish Heavy’s reliability, it could prove to be a game changer for the company by drawing in a number of possible customers including NASA.