The Falcon Heavy jumbo rocket flying into space actually carried Musk’s auto, Tesla Roadster, on it and has a sole passenger, a mannequin named Starman.
But at a press conference late on Tuesday, Musk said longer-range missions were always planned to be within the capabilities of the Falcon Heavy rocket, a 27-engine leviathan second only to Nasa’s long retired Apollo-era Saturn V in terms of sheer lifting power.
Elon Musk has no problem delivering a Telsa to Marvin Martian, but on earth, he and his Tesla team has a hard time to ramp up the Model 3 production. The Falcon Heavy it will be sitting on top of will have no trouble lifting the 2 ton weight of the auto. The rocket is the most powerful rocket in the world and is carrying a Tesla Roadster into orbit. And Musk’s Roadster became the fastest auto ever, hurtling off the planet and zooming away on a route that will now take it all the way to the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
Crew Dragon will launch on a Falcon 9, the rocket SpaceX has flown since 2010. The payload capacity of the Falcon Heavy is more than two and a half times that of either the now-retired space shuttle from NASA or the Delta IV Heavy rocket, according to SpaceX. Musk certainly grabbed the media’s attention, now all he needs if a faultless launch later today. This, as Musk rightly says, will spell an end for all other heavy-lift rockets. And, as a 2+2, it will carry almost as many passengers as the new SpaceX rocket ship. SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk has described the attempt as “synchronized aerial ballet”.
By blasting his electric vehicle into space, Musk not only pulled off a publicity coup but also showed potential clients that SpaceX can deliver the goods.
Their visit was further rewarded eight minutes after liftoff when two of the rocket’s side cores performed a tandem landing at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and generated back-to-back sonic booms during the descents. Falcon Heavy is set to carry a large communications satellite into orbit for Arabsat of Saudi Arabia.
In classic Musk style, the BFR began its life as a concept with a vulgar name and lofty goals.
Musk noted that SpaceX used only internal funds to finance the Heavy, investing more than $500 million in developmental costs.
SpaceX loads a first-generation Tesla Roadster into the Falcon Heavy rocket.
Tauscher, who as a representative for California’s 10th Congressional District served on the House Armed Services Committee, said Tuesday that the launch would be an opportunity to learn.
Musk said the successful Falcon Heavy launch left him encouraged about the future of BFR. “It gives us a basis for exploring the mysteries of the universe while developing new ideas to benefit our fellow humans”, he said.
Tesla reported a net loss of $675 million for the fourth quarter, up from $121 million a year earlier.