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The world's most powerful rocket has been successfully launched into the heavens, ushering in a new era for space travel.
The SpaceX owned Falcon Heavy machine has twice the lifting capacity of its competitors, which was put on full display at the launch site in Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Not only did the rocket successfully blast through the skies, but the boosters came back into Earth's orbit and safely land back on the ground.
People watching inside the headquarters seemed to be pretty bloody chuffed to see the mission was such a success.
The rocket is carrying a rather peculiar object inside it's massive hull: a midnight cherry red Tesla Roadster, which we assumed SpaceX founder and Tesla CEO Elon Musk has done just for LOLs. Not only will the car be blasted into the cosmos, it will also be playing David Bowie's 'Space Oddity' on its way to Mars' orbit.
Speaking to reporters yesterday, Musk said: "[The roadster will] get about 400 million kilometres away from Earth, and it'll be doing 11km/s. We estimate it will be in that orbit for several hundred million years, maybe in excess of a billion years."
Hmm. We all like Bowie, but any aliens monitoring the car might be dismayed to have to hear that same track over and over again for the next billion years.
According to the BBC, the rest of what will occupy the Falcon Heavy will be a dummy strapped to the Tesla driver's seat and a few miscellaneous things to distribute the weight. The number of failed rocket missions in the past has meant SpaceX don't want to take any chances with putting a live crew inside for the maiden flight.
Now that the Falcon Heavy has been a success, it means big things for future space travel.
Bigger satellites will be able to be launched for the US military and intelligence services, larger robots can be sent to Mars and more impressive telescopes can be thrown into space to give us a better view of the cosmos.
Musk hasn't been shy about how big of a deal this launch is, saying yesterday: "If we are successful in this, it is game over for all the other heavy lift rockets."
The reason why the Falcon Heavy is such a game changer is its ability to land back on Earth and be reused.
Musk released an animated look at how the technology performs and it's nothing short of absolute brilliance. The ability to reuse the boosters means SpaceX is vastly more efficient and cheaper than competitors like the Delta IV Heavy, Russia's Proton, or Europe's Ariane 5.
The entrepreneur admits that, if he wanted to, he could make the Falcon Heavy even more powerful, saying: "We could dial it up to as much performance as anyone could ever want - we could add two more side boosters, make it Falcon Super Heavy, get upwards of nine million pounds of thrust."
If that were to be the case, it would become the most powerful in history.
Can't wait to see how this technology develops.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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