FEB 06, 2018 5:14 PM PST

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy Rocket Flies a Tesla Roadster Into Space

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

After what felt like eons of hype, SpaceX officially launched its Falcon Heavy mega-rocket from launch pad 39A in Cape Canaveral, Florida at 3:45 P.M. on Tuesday. Astonishingly, its maiden flight went much smoother than many had anticipated. 

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket as it blasted off from launch pad 39A in Cape Canaveral on Tuesday.

Image Credit: SpaceX/YouTube

It wasn’t long after the Falcon Heavy’s 27 Merlin engines fired up that the rocket took flight. It kicked up a lot more steam than a Falcon 9 rocket would, but the lift-off was just as majestic as we’d expect from the latter. 

Once the space vehicle reached optimal altitude, its two side boosters detached from the central core and fell back to Earth to land on solid ground. Shortly after, the center core separated from the payload and fell back to Earth. It attempted to land on SpaceX’s drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean but didn't quite make it.

Related: SpaceX wants to launch Falcon 9 rockets every couple of weeks

Despite having its engine power throttled down to just 92% of peak performance, the Falcon Heavy generated a respectable amount of thrust and launched its special payload into space – a red Tesla Roadster electric car with a spacesuit-wearing dummy sitting in the driver’s seat.

Cameras mounted all over the Tesla Roadster delivered live footage of outer space from all angles around the car. You can watch that stream below:

Given SpaceX’s fascination with Mars, the Tesla Roadster will head in that general direction. The car won’t ever land on Mars, but it will follow the red planet around for an eternity as it orbits the Sun.

Despite the loss of the Falcon Heavy's central core, the launch was was an impressive achievement for SpaceX and a significant step in the right direction for humankind. The space vehicle’s sheer power makes it into the ideal rocket for future Moon or Mars-based missions and its reusability could keep the price tag low enough to promote said missions.

These are indeed exciting times to be alive; especially if you have any interest in space exploration.

Source: SpaceX

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
MAR 22, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Critical Sample Handling Equipment is Installed on the Perseverance Rover
MAR 22, 2020
Critical Sample Handling Equipment is Installed on the Perseverance Rover
It was only a couple of weeks ago that NASA’s Mars 2020 rover got renamed to the Perseverance rover, and with a la ...
APR 10, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Discovery on solar interstellar magnetic field
APR 10, 2020
Discovery on solar interstellar magnetic field
New information on the solar neighborhood has allowed researchers from the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the Un ...
APR 19, 2020
Space & Astronomy
NASA Pegs Official Launch Date for First Crewed SpaceX Flight
APR 19, 2020
NASA Pegs Official Launch Date for First Crewed SpaceX Flight
Those who’ve been following the hype shared by both NASA and SpaceX during the past couple of years would know tha ...
MAY 10, 2020
Space & Astronomy
What Exactly Are Star Clusters?
MAY 10, 2020
What Exactly Are Star Clusters?
When you think of stellar systems, you might be inclined to think of a system like our own with just one star, or perhap ...
JUN 15, 2020
Space & Astronomy
This Drop Tower Simulates Near-Zero Gravity On Earth
JUN 15, 2020
This Drop Tower Simulates Near-Zero Gravity On Earth
It’s almost impossible to replicate the effects of zero gravity here on Earth, and that’s one of the reasons ...
JUN 25, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Fast Radio Bursts: The Mysterious Cosmic Signals Just Got More Mysterious
JUN 25, 2020
Fast Radio Bursts: The Mysterious Cosmic Signals Just Got More Mysterious
Since the first discovery thirteen years ago, fast radio bursts (FRBs), a type of short radio pulses, have been fascinat ...
Loading Comments...