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Your Guide to Elon Musk’s Falcon Heavy Space Roadshow Last Night

7 Feb 2018, 09:19 UTC
Your Guide to Elon Musk’s Falcon Heavy Space Roadshow Last Night
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

What’s the Falcon Heavy? Why did it launch a car into space? Who was at the wheel? Isn’t the car space junk? Was there a point to all this beyond vanity?
An animation of the Falcon Heavy lifting off. Credit: SpaceX
Elon Musk has stepped closer to his vision of settling humans on Mars within the next two decades. In the early hours of February 7 (IST), SpaceX launched its first Falcon Heavy rocket, the largest and most powerful functional rocket in the world today, from Pad 39A at Cape Canaveral, Florida. After the launch, both first-stage boosters returned safely to ground.
In its maiden voyage, the Heavy carried a model of the Tesla Roadster, with a mannequin at the wheel decked up in a new SpaceX spacesuit. Here’s an FAQ to guide you through some of the more trickier details.
What is the Falcon Heavy?
Technically, the Falcon Heavy is three Falcon 9 rockets. Each Falcon 9 has nine engines. The Falcon Heavy has one core rocket – a Falcon 9 – flanked by two more Falcon 9s to boost its lift. According to SpaceX, the Heavy can lift 64,000 kg into low-Earth orbit (at most ~2,000 km high). ...

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