SpaceX successfully launched the massive, new ‘Falcon Heavy’ rocket for the first time on Feb. 6, 2018.
It is by far the most powerful rocket in the world today, with 27 engines capable of lifting an extraordinary payload of 64 tons of fuel, equipment and people up in to orbit.
Read more about the historic launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Station in Florida, USA.
Incredibly, the two boosters on the side of the rockets main core returned back to earth for a synchronised precision landing, meaning that they will be able to be used again. No real people were onboard the Falcon Heavy, instead there was a life size dummy in a space suit, named ‘Starman’, sitting at the wheel of a red convertible car!
The car belonged to the co-founder and CEO of SpaceX, billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk. It was set to orbit Earth before heading off towards Mars and then on towards the Sun. Unbeknownst to many, hidden in the car is a small circular disc, like a shrunken DVD, made of quartz silica glass. The disc, called an ‘Arch’ (pronounced ‘Ark’) is a data storage device with a huge capacity. Stored on it were the books of science-fiction writer Isaac Asimov’s ‘Foundation’ trilogy. The creator of the Arch, Nova Spivack, says the crystals will last 14 billion years – plenty of time for someone to find them! Slowly, the Suns radiation will cause both Starman and his ride to disintegrate, but what an adventure he will have in the meantime!
Watch the full video of the launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket.