Today, on 6 Feb. 2018, SpaceX successfully launched their Falcon Heavy rocket. It took around five million pounds to help thrust the rocket into orbit. This rocket is called the Falcon Heavy rocket because there are 27 total engines that were used to help it take off into space; this is the biggest amount of engines used to send a rocket into space. The Falcon Heavy took off from Florida at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. The rocket launched with a fake person acting as the pilot. Along with the fake person, Tesla’s red roadster is included in the cargo. Falcon Heavy is currently undergoing phase two: its second and final stage. The “Don’t Panic” sign next to the steering wheel is a reference to The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. The goal of this mission is to prove SpaceX’s credibility and test the design of the Falcon Heavy. The rocket won’t be going anywhere near Mars, because of fears of contamination. Below are the most recent tweets from SpaceX on Twitter, including a live view of the rocket with the ‘dummy’.
Falcon Heavy is the world’s most powerful rocket and can send 141,000 pounds into orbit. It weighs approximately the same (140,00 pounds). The Falcon Heavy rocket cost SpaceX, and billionaire founder Elon Musk, a grand total of 90 million dollars. The second most powerful rocket, the Delta Four Heavy, is more than thrice as much than the Falcon Heavy at a startling 350 million dollars.
According to The New York Times, the Falcon Heavy will be a game-changer for SpaceX. Because of this victorious launch, SpaceX will be able to get into talks with NASA for private contracts to create cheaper, yet more sustainable, rockets and spaceships. This would ultimately save NASA and the United States government millions, if not billions, of dollars. Not only would we be able to save taxpayers’ money, but we would also be able to work on having humans reach Mars. That is Elon Musk’s eventual goal: send humans to the Red Planet and inhabit it someday.
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