Elon Musk launches Tesla – Falcon Heavy test flight

Elon Musk launched his Tesla, but this was a launch was different, it was the launch of his own Cherry Red Roadster in to space.

Some people in NASA criticised the plan of NASA to use corporate suppliers to design and launch rockets needed for them to replace the space shuttle — enabling manned missions to the international space station (strange because I think previous rocket engines were built commercially?).

The Falcon Heavy maiden flight was intended to accomplish several objectives:

  • survive launch
  • separate the side booster cores
  • return the two side boosters to Cape Canaveral
  • separate the core and the upper stage to light engines for orbit insertion
  • land the central first stage booster core on an autonomous drone ship
  • relight the upper stage to orbit in the van Allen belts for several hours
  • relight the upper stage again to put the payload into its heliocentric orbit

 

It was reported that after a successful launch, the two booster rockets successfully (simultaneously) landed back at the Cape Canaveral launch site. The core engine impacted 100 meters from the drone ship at 500 kilometres per hour, after 2 of 3 engines failed to reignite.The final upper stage transfer burn to solar orbit produced an orbit that will be beyond the orbit of Mars at its furthest point from the sun.

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