World watches as SpaceX gets ready to launch new rocket, the Falcon Heavy, today
SpaceX’s big new rocket stood ready to blast off on its first test flight Tuesday, as crowds began gathering at daybreak for the launch debut at Cape Canaveral, which could come as soon at 10:30 a.m. Pacific time.
As the sun rose at Kennedy Space Center, bright lights illuminated the Falcon Heavy, gleaming white on the same launch pad used by NASA nearly 50 years ago to send men to the moon.
Falcon Heavy sends a car to Mars https://t.co/Y7uBtU6Mt2
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 5, 2018
The Heavy is set to become the world’s most powerful rocket in use, with double the liftoff punch. It’s equipped with three boosters and 27 engines designed to provide about 5 million pounds of thrust.
To add to the excitement, SpaceX chief Elon Musk placed his cherry-red Tesla Roadster on board. He’s striving to put the car into a perpetual solar orbit reaching out as far as Mars, the focus of all his rocket efforts as he aims to establish a city there in years to come.
Watch live: See the live stream from SpaceX
Musk — who also heads up the Tesla electric carmaker — said he wanted to add some dramatic flair by launching his sports car into space. Normally, the payloads on test flights include nonvaluable items like steel or concrete slabs or mundane experiments.
In the driver’s seat of the convertible is “Starman,” a dummy in a spacesuit, with one hand on the steering wheel. David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” will be playing on the soundtrack at liftoff.
SpaceX chief Elon Musk has his cherry-red Tesla Roadster on board of the Falcon Heavy rocket. He’s striving to put the car into a perpetual solar orbit reaching out as far as Mars, the focus of all his rocket efforts as he aims to […]