In what looks like another step for mankind in space advancement, Elon Musk had successfully launched his rocket the Falcon Heavy into space, and carrying with it the payload of Elon Musk’s red Tesla.
This space venture is part of the SpaceX program, and it is a test to show how rockets made by Elon Musk can carry heavier payloads into space with a capacity of 64 tonnes which is nearly double that of the Delta IV Heavy and only at a third of the costs.
Adding on to the fun within this recent payload, the red Tesla car is fitted with a white mannequin with the radio set to David Bowie’s Space Oddity.
The new Falcon Heavy is comprised of three workhorses Falcon 9 vehicles strapped together and as stated before, it is built to be reusable which saw an attempt by the rocket to return to Earth with controlled landings. Two of those rockets managed to land back at the designated touchdown zones while the third missed its mark and crashed into the water.
These new rockets with improved weight capacity unlock new possibilities for space ventures such as:
- Much bigger satellites for use by US intelligence and the military. The scale of these satellites is limited by current rocket performance.
- Large batches of satellites, such as those for Mr Musk’s proposed constellation of thousands of spacecraft to deliver broadband across the globe.
- Bigger, more capable robots to go to the surface of Mars, or to visit the outer planets such as Jupiter and Saturn, and their moons.
- Huge telescopes. Hubble’s successor, the James Webb Space Telescope, is having to be folded origami-like to fit in its launcher next year.
So, does this mean that the new era of space travel is here? We’ll have to find out won’t we