Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Made on Earth by Humans

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How about that launch by SpaceX yesterday afternoon of the Falcon Heavy rocket?

If you didn’t see that Webcast, it’s well worth checking out.

According to SpaceX’s website, the Falcon Heavy is now the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two, with the ability to lift into orbit nearly 64 metric tons (141,000 lbs!). That’s a mass greater than a 737 jetliner loaded with passengers, crew, luggage, and fuel.

Furthermore, Falcon Heavy can lift more than twice the payload of the next closest operational vehicle, the Delta IV Heavy, at one-third the cost.

In space, your mileage may vary (especially flying Elon Musk’s personal Tesla, which was, in this case, the primary payload — that, and an endless loop of David Bowie’s "Life on Mars.")

It was also quite something to see the two side boosters re-enter the earth’s atmosphere, fire up their re-entry burn, then plop down and land safely back on their pads at Cape Canaveral, ready to be re-purposed for future use.

Elon Musk did a TV interview this AM, in which he explained his greatest fear yesterday was seeing a big explosion on the launchpad, only to then see a tire rolling down the road with the word "Tesla" on the side.

Those fears have been put to rest, at least for this inaugural launch.

As for the upper stage, it will (hopefully) move through the Van Allen belts and, if it continues to operate as planned, will do another engine burn before heading into deep space on a Mars orbit.

And just in case Falcon Heavy meets any extraterrestrials or Martians on the way, he put a simple message on a circuit board:

"Made on the earth by humans."

Some really smart and inspiring ones.

Written by turbotodd

February 7, 2018 at 8:24 am

Posted in 2018, elon musk, space

Tagged with , ,

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