Elon Musk did incredible things yesterday with the launch of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy, the launching of a Tesla Roadster into space, those captivating photos of “Spaceman” behind the wheel of that cherry red car with the entirety of Earth in view, and the successful landing of two of three boosters.
The massive, three-booster rocket took off from Cape Canaveral in Florida as planned on Tuesday at 1:30 PM EST, lifting off from Kennedy Space Center’s LC-39A.
This is a historic moment for SpaceX, since it has been aiming to build and launch the large capacity rocket since 2011. Initially, the planned schedule had targeted 2013 as a launch window, but various delays and setbacks pushed down its inaugural flight – until today. Musk has previously described SpaceX’s early views on how hard it would be to build this rocket as “naive,” to account in part for the considerable departure from that early timetable. …
The Kennedy launch complex used for this mission, which SpaceX has leased from NASA, is as historic as its latest resident – it was previously used for both the Apollo program and the Space Shuttle before being taken over and reconfigured for Falcon Heavy by SpaceX.
What’s next? The BFR; Big Falcon Rocket: “Musk said that BFR might be ready for ‘short hopper flights with the spaceship part’ of the rocket by maybe next year. These will essentially be flights of ‘increasing complexity,’ with the intent being to go out of Earth’s atmosphere and then ‘come back in hot to test the heat shield,’ because BFR’s primary purpose will require it to survive planetary entry, on Earth, Mars and beyond.”
We’re returning to space.