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Falcon Heavy Rocket Launch – A New Beginning

Bailey Frtiz, Staff Writer

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Tuesday, February 6th is a day that will go down in history as one of the beginnings of the space rocket revolution. SpaceX, Elon Musk’s company, launched the Falcon Heavy rocket into Earth’s orbit, with an extremely unusual payload: one of his own Tesla cars.

The Falcon Heavy rocket is the most powerful rocket ever produced by a factor of two, and can hold a payload of nearly 140,000 pounds. Two of the boosters that helped send the rocket up detached and returned on their own, fully intact and able to be reused. These boosters can provide over 5 million pounds of upward thrust, and only one other rocket has been able to achieve that level of thrust.

The Tesla was sent up with a mannequin in the driver’s seat named Starman, an homage to David Bowie’s song “Life on Mars”, which was also being played on the speakers of the car. On the car’s LCD screen, the words “DON’T PANIC” were displayed, in reference to Douglas Adams’s book Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. A copy of the novel was also placed in the car.

Autumn Hynes (11) is an avid fan of Elon Musk.

“I’m excited about the launch because that’s the field of engineering I’d like to go into. Space is like the ocean, we’ve only explored such a small part of it. That’s a fancy way of saying I believe in aliens,” she said.

When Musk was asked what the purpose of this mission was, he described it as proof that the human race should, and can, go to Mars. The rocket has been set into orbit to try to get to Mars, but Musk tweeted that the Falcon may have overshot its’ orbit and may be headed towards the asteroid belt. However, some experts say there may be a possibility of it still reaching its destination; all the world can do is wait.

Many people find Elon Musk’s actions strange or unnecessary, but Hynes disagrees.

“I love how he decided and wanted to put one of his cars into space and he just did it. I’d love to get to that level of no cares given,” she said.

Although the SpaceX rocket may have seemed to serve no purpose, this launch has created a new beginning to space travel. Many launches are scheduled for the near future, and these launches will help propel the human race to new heights, whether that be discovering new things about our solar system, sending astronauts places we have never seen, or colonizing new planets.

 

Sources –

http://www.spacex.com/webcast

https://qz.com/281619/what-it-took-for-elon-musks-spacex-to-disrupt-boeing-leapfrog-nasa-and-become-a-serious-space-company/

http://money.cnn.com/2018/02/09/technology/future/tesla-orbit-elon-musk-spacex/index.html

http://www.spacex.com/falcon-heavy

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