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There Is a Car in Space – Launched by a Rocket With Reused Parts That Landed Back on Earth by a Billionaire Who Wants to Colonize Mars

Tuesday, February 6, 2018 15:41
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In the last hour or so, SpaceX successfully completed the first liftoff of the Falcon Heavy rocket. This is a beefed up version of its successful Falcon-9 rocket, where three boosters are strapped together, firing 27 Merlin engines simultaneously with the capability of launching 54 tonnes of cargo into space.

And Liftoff for Falcon Heavy. Credit: SpaceX

And Liftoff for Falcon Heavy. Credit: SpaceX

The Falcon Heavy is now the most powerful rocket currently operating on Earth, by a factor of two.

On board the Falcon Heavy was Elon Musk’s choice for a test mass. An appropriate amount of weight that will demonstrate the Falcon Heavy’s ability to carry cargo into space: his car. Specifically, his Midnight Red Tesla Roadster. At the driver’s seat is a dummy named StarMan wearing a prototype of the SpaceX spacesuit that astronauts will wear when the Dragon capsule starts delivering crew to the International Space Station.

The launch was delayed by high winds in the upper atmosphere, but when things settled down, they did the launch.

And the launch itself seemed to go perfectly. The Falcon leaped off the launch pad, blasted off into space with its twin reused rocket boosters firing. After a couple of minutes, the boosters detached and returned to Earth, followed by the central stage.

Synchronized landing in one beautiful GIF. #youarewelcome #spacex #falconheavy #landing

— Honza Št?rba (@honzasterba) February 6, 2018

We watched the twin boosters return to Cape Canaveral and land almost simultaneously. The fate of the central third core is still unknown, the video feed cut off as the rocket was returning to the autonomous drone ship in the Atlantic. This happens from time to time, apparently, as the blast of the rocket’s landing engines can throw the drone’s communications antennae out of alignment.

The payload fairing detached and fell away, revealing the Tesla to the Universe, and the second stage continued on, carrying the car to orbit. As David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” began its endless looping background music, we could see the car floating free above the Earth.

According to Musk, the car’s going to spend the next 5 hours or so enjoying the radiation of the Van Allen Belts before its final burn to carry it out onto a Marslike orbit.

In completing this launch, SpaceX demonstrated several things. The Falcon Heavy is a reality. If you’ve got $90 million burning a hole in your pocket, and you want to send 54 tonnes of cargo into low Earth orbit, they’ll be glad to take your order.

They tested using previously flown Falcon-9 first stages as components in the Falcon Heavy. They tested landing three boosters simultaneously.

They also got a chance to test out their new spacesuit in actual space. And I guess, they’ll know if Tesla Roadsters are ready for the harsh environment of interplanetary space.

Don't Panic StarMan, Don't Panic. Credit: SpaceX

Don’t Panic StarMan, Don’t Panic. Credit: SpaceX

I’m not sure how long this’ll last, but you can watch a live view from over the shoulder of StarMan as he sits behind the wheel, with the reassuring “Don’t Panic” sign on the Roadster’s dashboard.

Interesting side note, Musk announced that they wouldn’t be making the Falcon Heavy human rated, they’ll be saving that trick for the BFR which should start launching in the next few years, or decades, or however long things take. In other words, we’ll need to go through this whole process all over again of anticipation, and excitement.

Clearly this story is still unfolding. Will the car make its transfer burn? Did the third booster land? Does anyone want to buy 54 tonnes of cargo launched to orbit for $90 million? Will the BFR ever launch? Will Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin catch up?

Stay tuned.

The post There is a car, in space. Launched by a rocket with reused parts that landed back on Earth by a billionaire who wants to colonize Mars. appeared first on Universe Today.



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Total 15 comments
  • Anonymous

    It all looks so real …. just like … Pigs ( echo ) .. IN ( echo ) …. SPAAAAAACE ( echo echo echo )

    No wait, pigs in space looked more realistic.

    The re-entry cgi reminded me of iron man in his rocket suit.

  • Anonymous

    No really, you guys really think there is a car … flying through space … going to orbit mars …. for a million years ….

    • K¡llúḿ¡ńàṫ¡✝☪ ॐ ﷲ ✡

      Africa and Europe from space :?: Earth at night seen from space :?:
      14:30 :?: 43:30 :?: 52:10 :?: 56:40 :?: 1:10:23 :?: 1:21:00 :?: 1:33:50 :?:
      1:38:50 :?: 1:51:46 :?: 3:58:30 :?: 4:27:26 :?:
      Where is the International Space Station? or the moon and stars, milky way :!:

      • K¡llúḿ¡ńàṫ¡✝☪ ॐ ﷲ ✡

        52:29 where = Sun on the car :lol:

  • DK

    The chassais should be heating up over 100 degrees at 1kw per m2 in the suns radiation so the dash and steering wheel should be melting (PVC), since it is black and retains 100% of the radiation, the lunar surface is at 100 degrees in daylight but refracts or reflects 70% of the light on it due to the dust. UPC melts at 100 degrees, the real interesting thing comes into effect when the car passes through the Earths shadow and the temperature differences between the materials become extreme such that the windscreen pops out since it is held in place by silicone gel, and the chassais warps with steel components shattering the Aluminium shell. The sudden transition between dark and light as the car passes through the Earths shadow should shatter the headlights with thermal shock(at least -173 degrees to 100 instantly) which is why spacecraft do not use glass but a transparent ceramic composite ( or a small porthole with gold plating, their shell is uniform using the same material and they are lagged in a heat blanket.

    I am spamming this until proven wrong by Thermal expansion being banned by the UN since it is global warming ocean acidification and bleaches 9 out of ten corals.

    • Fringe Design Lab

      You have tight grasp on what you’ve been told. However, do you really trust what they told you? Do you think that venus is really a super hot gaseous planet unsuitable for life or how about there is no atmosphere on the moon or mars. They were telling us up to a month ago that there is no large deposits of water on mars except at the poles(which they said were mostly frozen co2) but lo and behold there are massive ice deposits just below the dust at mid lattitudes.

      • Don - 1

        It would be nice if Musk would send a Mars type Rover to the Moon to see if NASA really did land on the Moon.

        I saw some NASA photos of the Apollo landing sites. If you look closely you can see the tire tracks of the Rover. A simple measurement of the pixels of the photos reveal that the Rover was 12 feet wide and the Moon Lander was 60+ feet in diameter…

        NASA motto: if you can’t make it ….fake it.

  • Anonymous

    That heavy candle looked like it was leveling off and starting down within minutes of lift off.

  • Fringe Design Lab

    Will Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin catch up?

    Jeff bezos and blue origin are like taxis for the ultra rich to go to low earth orbit and be picked up by a mega bus that then goes on to mars or other space colony. This mega bus can be sent to low earth orbit by one of these falcon heavy rockets.

  • Fringe Design Lab

    Everything your told is bullshit. The elysium movie is not that far from the truth. The “old money” already does this and have been for 50 plus years. We are oblivious slaves… where do you really think all the tax money goes in america? Mosy likely our off world slave masters pocket, to continue to “take care of” his herd. We are basically really advanced cattle:/

  • unidentified

    he is brilliant :idea: :cool:

  • Don - 1

    This whole Bezos and his rocket thing is nonsense. A stunt to get attention. Nothing is achieved by putting a car in space. He has money to burn and spend on foolishness.
    Mars?…..sure, go to Mars and die. Mars is not habitable in any sense of the word.

    • Don - 1

      Sorry , I mean Alon Musk…..not Mr. B

  • westgate

    Update from a meeting in Dearborn of a team of engineers from the Big 3 – The mysterious “Black Vase” inside the Tesla actually contained the ashes of David Bowie.
    This from a very reliable first person source who was at the meeting

  • Don - 1

    This Falcon Rocket never went fast enough to enter into earth orbit. After the launch it simply crashed into the ocean. No Tesla car is in space. Basically the whole thing is a failure. The video of the red car floating in space near the earth is a fraud and hoax filmed on earth in a studio. Much is this event is similar to the 1960-70 NASA Apollo moon hoax…..but costing a fraction of that fiasco and hoax of a moon landing.

    Nice try Mr. Musk but we’re not buying any of your nonsense.

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