• Thursday, Sep 29, 2022
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

World's biggest rocket soars toward Mars after perfect launch

  • Published at 01:56 pm February 7th, 2018
World's biggest rocket soars toward Mars after perfect launch

The world's most powerful rocket, SpaceX's Falcon Heavy, blasted off Tuesday on its highly anticipated maiden test flight, carrying CEO Elon Musk's cherry red Tesla Roadster toward an orbit near Mars.

Screams and cheers erupted at mission control in Cape Canaveral, Florida as the massive rocket fired its 27 engines and rumbled into the blue sky over the same Nasa launchpad that served as a base for the US missions to the Moon four decades ago.

"The mission went as well as one could have hoped," an ecstatic Musk told reporters after the launch, calling it "probably the most exciting thing I have seen literally ever."

"I had this image of a giant explosion on the pad with a wheel bouncing down the road with the Tesla logo landing somewhere," he said. "Fortunately that is not what happened."

Loaded with Musk's red Tesla and a mannequin in a spacesuit, the monster rocket's historic test voyage captured the world's imagination.

SpaceX's webcast showed the Tesla Roadster soaring into space, as David Bowie's "Space Oddity" played in the background - with the words "DON'T PANIC" visible on the dashboard, in an apparent nod to the sci-fi series the "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy."

The Roadster was also outfitted with a data storage unit containing Isaac Asimov's science fiction book series, the Foundation Trilogy, and a plaque bearing the names of 6,000 SpaceX employees.

Musk posted a live video showing the "Starman" mannequin appearing to cruise, its gloved hand on the wheel, through the darkness of space, with the Earth's image reflected on the car's glossy red surface.

He tweeted late Tuesday night that the rocket's upper stage had made a successful final burn, sending the car and its mannequin passenger out of Earth's orbit, into an orbit around the Sun that brings it close to Mars.

After surviving a five-hour journey through the Van Allen Belt - a region of high radiation - the car now embarks on a journey through space that could last a billion years and take it as far as 400million kilometers from Earth, the same as a trip around the equator 10,000 times.

"Maybe it will be discovered by some future alien race," Musk told reporters. "What were these guys doing? Did they worship this car?" he mused.

 
50
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail