Elon Musk's SpaceX rocket causes multi-car crash in California

Gwen Vasquez
January 5, 2018

The company wrote, "With more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff - equal to approximately eighteen 747 aircraft at full power - Falcon Heavy will be the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two". The left and right boosters are standard Falcon 9 rockets, but the center unit has been reinforced where the side boosters attach. It has three cores that work in unison to get the rocket into a low Earth orbit.

SpaceX posted a silent video to social media on Tuesday showing sweeping views of the rocket.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has long sought to make space travel more cost-effective. "The alternative is to become a space-faring civilization and a multi-planet species". We're still several months away from the ideal Mars transfer window, and the second stage isn't created to insert the payload into orbit of another planet (you'd need a separate rocket package for the vehicle payload). He first tweeted about blasting his midnight cherry red Tesla Roadster into space in early December, and photos shared on SpaceX's Flickr suggest that it is indeed beyond the point of no-return.

Founded in May of 2002, SpaceX is the brainchild of Elon Musk, an inventor and entrepreneur also known for his automotive company, Tesla, and a broach range of other tech projects. The company's 2012 Dragon spacecraft launch marked them as the first private company to operate alongside the International Space Station (ISS), itself a joint project between several space agencies.

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Others shared on Twitter this week show the Falcon Heavy standing tall on the launchpad at the Kennedy Space Center.

The Falcon 9 rocket carrying Zuma will lift off at the historic Pad 39A which once hosted space shuttle and Apollo moon mission launches. Meanwhile, the center stage will throttle up and continue on as if it were a Falcon 9.

In September, the US Air Force's X-37B program launched a secret robotic mini-shuttle via a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

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