Just within the week, Elon Musk’s private aerospace manufacturing company, SpaceX, successfully launched the world’s most powerful rocket known as Falcon Heavy. The invention could be a major step of the billionaire’s dream in creating a colony in planet Mars. The launch took place at Kennedy Space Center, using the same launch pad that was used by NASA nearly 50 years ago to send astronauts to the Moon.
The launch event was streamed live, and the key highlight was when Falcon Heavy was projected with a roar into space successfully in its debit flight. With the successful lift-off, the Falcon Heavy became the most powerful rocket that have been invented in our today’s world, doubling the lift-off punch of its closest competitor.
The mega event was witnessed by approximately 3 million people online and other thousands of people that gathered at a camp ground near Cocoa Beach, which was 8km from the space center. The successful blast off of Falcon Heavy also accomplished Elon Musk’s dream of putting his personal Tersla Roadster into space, as the car is now presently in space.
After the historic launch, Musk held a press conference where he shared his excitement and was quoted saying “I’m still trying to absorb everything that happened because it’s still kind of surreal to me”.
The massive 23-storey Falcon Heavy was propelled by 27 rocket engines and packs more than 5 million pounds of thrust at launch. The Falcon Heavy was also made up of three Falcon 9s, the rocket that SpaceX uses to ship supplies to the International Space Station and lift satellites, harnessed together side by side.
With all these, what really distinguishes Falcon Heavy from other rockets is that the company also aimed to bring back its first stage boosters to land back safely on Earth. In the case of the launch that took place on Tuesday, 7th of February 2018, two of three boosters indeed managed to cut back through Earth’s atmosphere and landed on Kennedy Space Center’s launch pads. The third booster which was supposed to land on sea-flaring platform, crashed into the sea.
The great achievement, which SpaceX had previously achieved with its Falcon 9 launches as well, goes a long way in cutting costs for the revolutionary aeronautical company. For instance, the inaugural Falcon Heavy flight actually used two pre-flown Falcon 9 boosters. It is actually a practice which the company has taken up to drive down the cost of launches.
During the post-launch press conference, Elon Musk also said that the company will use Falcon Heavy to transport high-grade satellites to space instead of passengers in line with his Mars colonisation plan. The billionaire entrepreneur said that he will reserve that mission for an even more powerful SpaceX launch system, the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR), which he predicted could first fly as early as 2022 to 2023.