Space X launches heavyweight rocket Falcon Heavy

By Lauren Storch
On February 12, 2018

Photo courtesy of Space X, Wikipedia

Elon Musk’s company SpaceX launched its Falcon Heavy rocket at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida with great success last Tuesday.

SpaceX was founded by Musk in 2002 and has since grew into a major contributor to interspace travel. According to NBC, “this is the first time a private company has launched anything deep into space.”

The rocket is designed to deliver a maximum payload of 64 tonnes, or what non-astrophysicists would call 141,096 pounds. However, for it’s first trial run, Musk decided on a slightly different payload - sending into orbit an old Tesla sports car.

"It's just literally a normal car in space — I kind of like the absurdity of that," Musk spoke to Space.com.

Musk and his company have reinvented how the public view interstellar technology, turning a once overwhelming concept into something tangible for millions around the world.

The car launched, along with its space suited dummy have since release been projecting farther than expected. Intended to circle around the sun at about the distance of Mars, an overshot trajectory has sent the vehicle out into the asteroid belt somewhere between Mars and Jupiter.

One of the more important aspects of this new rocket technology developed by Musk and his team is the incorporation of controlled rocket landings. This makes it possible for multiple missions to go to space at a much quicker, more efficient and less costly manner.

Despite one of the boosters crashing into the ocean, all other aspects of the relanding were a success.

"It'll be game-over for all other heavy-lift rockets," Musk told reporters on Monday as recorded by the BBC. Reusable aircrafts is something unknown to the world of space exploration, and this new development is revolutionary for future generations.

Musk describes the experience saying how, "crazy things can come true. I didn't really think this would work — when I see the rocket lift up, I see a thousand things that could not work, and it's amazing when they do."

Space travel has always been risky business. With more failed attempts than successes, many governments and investors steer clear of putting their resources into these organizations. In the United States over recent years, NASA has been countlessly stripped of their funding, making new innovations that much rare and challenging.

The political applications of Musk’s rocket launch are that of a unified space movement. SpaceX is an international company based in the U.S., making it accessible to all nations. Bringing innovators from around the globe to collaborate and reach a new, borderless “space race.”

One of the ultimate goals of SpaceX is to reach Mars. Though Musk is far from the only entrepreneur invested in interplanetary life.  Jeffrey P. Bezos, the founder of Amazon, has personal stakes set in his rocket company Blue Origin.

The big question now for Musk is what his company will begin working on next. One project in the works at SpaceX is the Big Falcon Rocket, or BFR.  This updated rocket aiming to send hundreds of humans into orbit.

Musk spoke of production to The Verage saying, “we can really produce Falcon Heavies at a pretty rapid rate. Whatever the demand is, we’ll be able to meet it.”

Musk has set a new standard for space travel and exploration. He has done this by encouraging the conversation on interplanetary life by displaying overwhelming support for interspace projects.  A new generation of innovators are looking towards SpaceX as their first hope for life beyond the stars.

 

lstorch@ramapo.edu

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