Space X Launches

Ken AshfordScience & TechnologyLeave a Comment

This is insane….

The rocket is built by SpaceX, the game-changing company helmed by billionaire Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

In the run up to launch, it wasn’t at all clear whether the rocket would work.

This rocket has thrust equal to 18 Boeing 747 jetliners.

SpaceX has said the rocket will be capable of sending humans to Mars, even though SpaceX is planning to build an entirely different system for Mars travel, called the BFR.

It’ll also be the most powerful rocket currently in operation — and one of the most powerful ever built. The most powerful rocket in history was NASA’s Saturn V rocket, which was used for the Apollo moon landings and was retired in the 1970s.

The more thrust a rocket has, the farther it can travel and the bigger the satellite, spacecraft or other payload it can send into orbit.

That opens up a whole range of business opportunities for SpaceX, which has been leading a new era of spaceflight in which companies — not just governments — drive the industry forward.

For this test mission, the Falcon Heavy will launch a dummy payload. Specifically, it’ll send a cherry red Tesla (TSLA) roadster from Musk’s personal collection into deep space. There’s no scientific reason to send the car to space. But it does serve as self-promotion for Musk, who is also the CEO of Tesla.

The Falcon Heavy has a $90 million sticker price. That’s 45% more expensive than the Falcon 9 rocket SpaceX has used for every mission going back to 2012.

But the Falcon Heavy is essentially three Falcon 9s strapped together, and it’ll boast about three times the thrust of the Falcon 9.

And, compared to rockets that better rival the Falcon Heavy’s power, it’s a bargain.

The Delta IV Heavy, which is built by legacy aerospace firm United Launch Alliance and is currently the world’s most powerful rocket, can reportedly cost as much as $400 million per launch.

It should also be noted that the Falcon Heavy will out-power the Delta IV Heavy by a factor of two.

SpaceX says it’s been able to undercut the competition on price because of its reusable rocket parts.

The company is the only rocket builder in the world that safely returns first-stage rocket boosters back to Earth.

The first Falcon Heavy flight will even use two refurbished boosters from previous Falcon 9 missions.

SpaceX says it will attempt to guided all three of the Falcon Heavy’s first-stage boosters back to Earth after launch. Two of them, shown above, made a synchronized landing back at Kennedy Space Center. The third booster landed on a droneship, which is a remote controlled platform that catches rockets out at sea.