SpaceX Falcon Heavy
Many people took Elon Musk’s claim to send his Roadster to Mars on SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy Rocket as a joke. But he was not kidding at all when he said this. Weeks after the announcement, Elon Musk has revealed photos of the car being prepared for launch at SpaceX headquarters on his Instagram account. The images show that this is going to be the official inaugural flight of the Falcon Heavy. This is a rocket that SpaceX has been planning for years.
The Falcon Heavy is the successor of the Falcon 9 combined with three boosters strapped together. All will add enough thrust to make it the most powerful rocket in the world. Falcon Heavy is all set to be launched next month, from the same old launch pad of Apollo 11. Falcon Heavy is getting ready at Cape Canaveral for its final pre-launch tests. It is being loaded up with Tesla Roadster.
A Red Car for the Red Planet
Elon Musk said in his Instagram post, “A Red Car for the Red Planet Test flights of new rockets usually contain mass simulators in the form of concrete or steel blocks. That seemed extremely boring. Of course, anything boring is terrible, especially companies, so we decided to send something unusual, something that made us feel. The payload will be an original Tesla Roadster, playing Space Oddity, on a billion year elliptic Mars orbit.”
However, Musk knows that the flight is not free from risk.
“There is a lot of risk associated with the Falcon Heavy. There is a real good chance that the vehicle does not make it to orbit,” he said. “I hope it makes it far enough away from the pad that it does not cause pad damage. I would consider even that a win, to be honest.”
The designs for the Falcon Heavy were initially revealed in 2011. Musk was hopeful for a launch in 2013 but it took much longer to develop it.
“It actually ended up being way harder to do Falcon Heavy than we thought,” he said. “At first it sounds real easy. You just stick two first stages on as strap-on boosters. How hard can that be? But then everything changes.”
“If you liked tonight’s launch, you will really like Falcon Heavy next month,”
Musk tweeted in December, in response to some people’s reaction to a Falcon 9 launch that lit up the night sky over California. It appears Musk is a man of his words and always does what he says. Whether it is about winning a bet by making world’s largest battery in 60 days or the weird idea of sending Roadster to the Mars orbit, Musk has always managed to pull off impossible feats.