If aren’t living under a rock, you would have heard of Elon Musk’s SpaceX and the amazing story of Falcon 9 rockets. Today they have created history once again, and in amazing style.
Today, the Falcon Heavy, world’s most powerful rocket currently in production (NASA’s Saturn V in 1970’s was more powerful than this but they are not being produced anymore) was tested by SpaceX.
Usually when companies test rockets, they send a dummy payload like a concrete block or a metal block. But instead, Elon Musk decided to send his own Tesla Roadster car as the payload with a mannequin in a space suit at the driver seat.
The first stage of the rocket consisted of 3 falcon-9 cores which in total are made up of 27 merlin engines. These three first stages were planned to be reusable. After separation, they would come back and land on their designated landing pads. Two of them landed safely in cape Canaveral, the third one fell into the sea just 100m from the drone ship on which it was supposed to land. The way the two first stage cores landed in sync was a sight to behold.
The second stage carried on into space. The nose cone opened, revealing the “SpaceMan” and the Tesla Roadster. 4 cameras continued to transmit live stream of the ‘space car’ for the next 4 and half hours.
The Starman is wearing a real space suit. It took 3 years for Tesla to design the suit. This is a fully functional suit. The term “Starman” is a tribute to a song by David Bowie of the same name. Also, the song “Space Oddity” was being played in the car when it was in space. The dashboard displayed “Don’t Panic” which is a famous line from the book “Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy”, one of my favorite books. Elon is truly a ” Nerd Lord”…
After that, the battery died and the contact was lost. Since there were no solar panels, it would not be possible to communicate with the car again.
The car will continue its journey in space past Mars and towards the asteroid belt.
Here are some “must-see” videos of the whole event.
21:50 – Launch
24:30 – separation
25:45 – first look of the Starman
29:54 – landing of the two stage one cores.
This is the live stream of the Starman. Just 30 seconds into the video, you can see the earth appear in the background.
The other awesome video I liked was this. Put on your headphones and watch this amazing video to experience the sounds of the rocket launch and sonic booms of the landing.