SpaceX's big new rocket puts sports car in space

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SpaceX's big new rocket puts sports car in space

"Should it work, Falcon Heavy will be the most powerful rocket in the world by a factor of two and the highest payload launch vehicle to reach orbit after the Saturn V moon rocket..."

NASA's acting administrator, Robert Lightfoot, joined in the congratulations - and noted NASA's role in leasing Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39A to SpaceX for 20 years.

Musk said the first test flights of the BFR could begin next year, although these will be simple up and down trips, similar to the Grasshopper runs used to test the Falcon 9.

Elon Musk is founder of the private aerospace company SpaceX, which - on Tuesday, February 6, 2018 - successfully launched the world's most powerful new space rocket, the Falcon Heavy.

In 2004 he became one of the major funders of Tesla Motors and in 2006 Tesla showed its first auto, the Roadster.

Any other company would fit the rocket with a dead weight simulating cargo, but Mr Musk believes that would have been too boring, and "anything boring is terrible". This new rocket's maiden voyage may not stand that test of time, and yesterday's awe could easily get eclipsed by an even cooler feat in the future - after all, this was just a test launch - but it was hard not to share joy in SpaceX's success.

Musk added that the launch was one of the most exciting things he has ever seen. The fact that the Falcon Heavy was strong enough to allow for the extra weight of a auto, simply for the fun of it, is further demonstration of the rocket's power. Watch our video to find out what the successful launch of the Tesla Roadster on the Falcon Heavy means for space travel and transport. SpaceX, which plans to deploy thousands of communications satellites into low Earth orbit to provide low-cost, no-delay cellphone coverage for the globe, can now launch scores of these satellites at a time.

Named after Star Wars' "Millennium Falcon", Falcon Heavy is now hurtling through space towards Mars, with CEO Elon Musk's cherry-red Tesla Roadster on board, along with a spacesuit-clad dummy in tow.

The launch generated a huge amount of interest online, and Mr Musk shared regular updates with his 18.9m followers.

Two of the boosters returned minutes later for simultaneous, side-by-side touchdowns at Cape Canaveral. "And the award for Most Midlife Crisis goes to Elon Musk".

The auto faces considerable speed bumps before settling into its intended orbit around the sun, an oval circle stretching from the orbit of Earth on one end to the orbit of Mars on the other.

The third booster was supposed to land on a sea-faring platform called a droneship - but just as it was about to land, the livestream cut out. "Did they worship this auto?"

"Woohoo!" Bezos said in a congratulatory tweet.

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