Being done with EVs, it’s time for rocket porn ? ! Oh yeah ! A mission, Elon Musk himself & all the space enthusiasts were waiting since 2011 to happen. Yes, we are talking about the Falcon Heavy launch which successfully took off from Cape Canaveral & made history. Let’s talk about why this launch was so important & monumental !
So, what is Falcon Heavy ?
In simple words, Falcon heavy is just twin-turbocharged Bugatti Grande Sport of rockets ! Falcon Heavy, as name suggests is a newer, granddad version of Falcon 9 rocket which could lift even heavier loads than Falcon 9. Here’s everything else you need to know about Falcon Heavy rocket –
- The rocket took off from launchpad 39A at Kennedy Space Centre in Florida on 6th February, 3:45 PM EST.
- The Falcon Heavy looks like normal Falcon rocket but with 2 extra boosters/cores attached to it.
- Each core has 9 Merlin engines & Falcon Heavy has 3 cores, this makes total of 27 engines !
- Falcon Heavy produces more than 5 million pounds of thrust ! That’s almost twice of Saturn V rocket which took humans to Moon. This makes it the most powerful rocket in the world !
- The rocket has an ability to lift nearly 64 metric tons (141,000 lb), more than twice the payload of the next closest operational vehicle, the Delta IV Heavy.
- All the 3 boosters of this rocket were to return back on Earth safely but that didn’t quite happen. The 2 boosters of stage 1 landed on ground simultaneously(this made my 2018), while the main core failed to land on droneship in Atlantic ocean.
- Falcon Heavy mission costs around $90 million while the Delta IV heavy runs about $350 million per mission !
What is it designed for ?
The launch was just a demonstration of rocket to check its capabilities, whether it could set payloads into Mars orbit or not & the answer is YES !
It’s main mission is to take people to Mars in future. Also, SpaceX says it will send two paying customers around the Moon using the Falcon Heavy at some point in the future (I wish looting a bank was easy 🙁 )
What was the payload ?
Would you believe it if I say it ? Yes, you have to ! The launch had a “silly” payload: a cherry red 2008 Tesla roadster ! Oh and yes, a dummy man named Starman in a SpaceX’s space suit sitting on the driver seat.
A Red Car for the Red Planet Test flights of new rockets usually contain mass simulators in the form of concrete or steel blocks. That seemed extremely boring. Of course, anything boring is terrible, especially companies, so we decided to send something unusual, something that made us feel. The payload will be an original Tesla Roadster, playing Space Oddity, on a billion year elliptic Mars orbit.
Reason ? SpaceX says that it’s kind of boring to send steel blocks as payload & they wanted more fun, something which makes them feel !
The car is not being sent to Mars or into Mars orbit. Rather the car is going to revolve around the Sun in an elliptical orbit as far as Mars. In future, the Roadster might pass very close to Mars. Also, Mr. Musk said that there’s a very tiny chance that it could even crash into Mars.
Well, did someone say, “Electric cars don’t go far enough”
Facts for the day :-
- The Tesla Roadster sent into orbit around the Sun is Elon Musk’s personal car !
- The radio in car was set to play David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” soundtrack on loop before launching the vehicle & won’t stop until the batteries go dead !
- Falcon Heavy is now the world’s most powerful rocket !
- Tesla Roadster now becomes the first car to be in outer space and the first car to orbit Earth & Sun
Here is an animated video from SpaceX which will help you understand the whole mission.
Here is the Live webcast of the mission which launched on 6th February, 3:45 PM EST.
Well, one thing is sure,
Mr. Elon Musk, I vote you as our next president