The long-awaited start of the Falcon Heavy cargo rocket finally took place and was successful. SpaceX has launched the most heavily loaded rocket on February 6 from the cosmodrome at cape Canaveral in...
The long-awaited start of the Falcon Heavy cargo rocket finally took place and was successful. SpaceX has launched the most heavily loaded rocket on February 6 from the cosmodrome at cape Canaveral in Florida.
The booster rocket consists of three accelerating blocks, which led to space the head part. The lateral accelerators separated and synchronously landed at the cosmodrome. The central accelerator was supposed to sit on the floating platform, but because of the lack of fuel it could not slow down and crashed against the water 90 meters from the site, filling it with debris.
According to the decision of Elon Musk, the second stage of the rocket was placed by his personal electric vehicle Tesla Roadster of the first generation as a payload. At the wheel is a dummy Starman, dressed in the prototype of the space suit, which SpaceX is going to use in manned flights.
On the dashboard of the electric car there is a sign with the inscription DO NOT PANIC! In the car there is also a book "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", to which the inscription refers. Already after the launch in SpaceX they told that they also sent a device, together with the cabriolet, developed by the project The Arch Mission, on which copies of books from the cycle "Founding" of Isaac Asimov were recorded. After the launch the song of David Bowie "Space Oddity" began playing in the car.
The engine of the head part with three maneuvers brought the platform with an electric vehicle first to a stable near-earth orbit, and then to a heliocentric orbit. The roadster will rotate along its own elliptical trajectory, traversing the orbit of Mars, approaching either the Earth's orbit, or the orbit of the dwarf planet Ceres in the asteroid belt.
Third burn successful. Exceeded Mars orbit and kept going to the Asteroid Belt. pic.twitter.com/bKhRN73WHF— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 7, 2018
For the development of Falcon Heavy, the company spent half a billion dollars. The cost of launch is estimated at $90 million. This compares favorably with the NASA Space Launch System project. The cost of each launch of the NASA cargo rocket will cost more than a billion. The department is funded from the taxes of US citizens, so the authorities show great interest in private space companies.
The launch of Falcon Heavy has become a real show. On the observation platform of the cosmodrome, there were a huge number of guests, and the simultaneous number of viewers on YouTube reached 2.3 million.
After the separation of the accelerators of the launch unit, SpaceX the platform was broadcast with an electric vehicle in open space for several hours.
Elon Musk think that, despite the unsuccessful landing of the central accelerator, the launch was extremely successful. Earlier, the head of the company warned about the numerous technical difficulties during construction of the missile and said that anything could happen: the audience could see both the triumphant launch of the most powerful rocket and the "best fireworks". Musk admitted that even he was surprised by the success, and noted the great potential of Falcon Heavy for a variety of space expeditions.
It seems that this is the beginning of a new space race, but not between countries, but between private companies.
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