Community Culture Current Events Featured FEATURED STORIES Global Home Technology Travel U.S. World

Falcon Heavy: A Major Success

After numerous delays and set backs, SpaceX has finally completed the launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket. Though the launch was late, it was a complete success. The launch of Falcon Heavy used the same exact launch pad as Apollo 11, the NASA mission that first landed mankind on the moon. On such a big stage, SpaceX had high expectations, and extremely high pressure for success. Fortunately, everything went better than expected.
After announcing the Falcon Heavy in 2011, and multiple delays, SpaceX has successfully launched Falcon Heavy into orbit. The launch took place at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 3:45 PM ET on Tuesday, February 6th. Following the successful launch into orbit, two of the controlled burners then separated and returned successfully to the Launchpad nearly simultaneously.

According to digital trends, Falcon Heavy is currently the world’s most powerful operational rocket by a factor of two. It’s obvious that a rocket of this magnitude isn’t cheap to produce, costing SpaceX a shocking $500 million to develop. The Falcon Heavy essentially has three Falcon 9 rockets strapped together. Throughout the three cores are 27 engines. At 230 feet tall, the rocket has the ability to lift nearly 64 metric tons or 141,000 pounds into orbit. As you can imagine, with this amount of mass, it will take some pretty serious firepower to reach orbit. Falcon Heavy’s thrusters fired off at an astonishing 5.5 million pounds of thrust. That’s the equivalent of eighteen 747 airplanes all firing at once. Anyone whose flown on a continental plane knows the sheer power you feel as you take off, now just multiply that power by eighteen, no big deal. With twice as much power as any rocket currently on the market, the Falcon Heavy can launch beyond Pluto, without making any pit stops.
Aboard the Falcon Heavy is Starman seated inside of a cherry red Tesla Roadster. Starman is a dummy in a spacesuit that’s currently set out for Mars as seen in the photos below. The successful launch of Falcon Heavy was YouTube’s second largest live stream ever recorded. The launch reached a staggering 2.3 million concurrent views on YouTube. In addition to online views, an estimated 100,000 spectators visited Florida’s Space Coast to witness the event. For those who may have missed the launch, or simply want to check in on the mission, you can get a live view of Starman in orbit whenever you desire, through YouTube’s live stream. There’s no telling how long it will take for Starman to reach Mars, but some speculations are expecting sometime in October of this year.
Entrepreneur and CEO of SpaceX Elon Musk founded the SpaceX program in 2002. Prior to SpaceX, Musk made his fortunes elsewhere. The South African-born American businessman founded in 1999, which is now known as PayPal. In October of 2002 Musk sold PayPal to eBay for $1.5 billion in stock. The money made from the sale of PayPal led to SpaceX, Musk’s third company.

Musk has been through ups and downs since the creation of SpaceX. From nearly exhausting his funds entirely, to building the most powerful operational rocket in the world. Musk has built SpaceX from the ground up and used his own funds to do so. After all the failure SpaceX has been through, Falcon Heavy has set SpaceX in the right direction. For people who may not care for this success, it isn’t just progress for Musk and SpaceX, its progress for the entire human race.
Musk’s goal is to inhabit Mars, making humans a multi-planetary species. Falcon Heavy will be a test to see exactly what that expedition might be like.The Falcon Heavy demonstrates just what Musk created SpaceX for, which is regular space travel. Inside the massive rocket is plenty of space for passengers, luggage, crew, and of course fuel. The Falcon Heavy is just the beginning to what Musk is planning to do. For the next mission, Musk plans on adding satellites, which could occur within the next three to six months. Following the success of the Falcon Heavy, expectations will be higher then ever before.