Febrero 21, 2018

SpaceX Launches Successfully But Will Overshoot Mars

09 Febrero 2018, 10:00 | Benedicto Grullon

Falcon Heavy taking off from Cape Canaveral

Screen Shot 2018 02 06

In a news conference after the launch, Musk said "It seems surreal to me". The private spaceflight firm launched the Falcon Heavy from Florida's Kennedy Spaceflight Center off the same launchpad that was used by NASA for its Apollo space program.

Musk's $100,000 vehicle has a dummy named Starman, of course, dressed in a spacesuit at the wheel while "Space Oddity" plays on repeat as the ship heads towards orbits around Mars and the sun. "It definitely works, though", Musk said.

"It's silly and fun, but silly and fun things are important", he said. "Exceeded Mars orbit and kept going to the Asteroid Belt".

Musk posted the last picture on Wednesday - a crescent-shaped Earth is shown fading into the distance as the vehicle heads out to its elliptical orbit around the sun. Blue Origin beat SpaceX in having a rocket land successfully for reuse, and both companies have a friendly back and forth competition. However, the Falcon Heavy rocket overshot its planned orbit around Mars and instead zoomed through space towards the Asteroid Belt at incredible speed, Musk revealed. That could be ready for launch sometime in 2020.

If you were to ask us prior to 6 February 2018 if an image of an automobile in space was real, we'd reply, with nearly no hesitation, that the photograph was likely a fake. But it is exactly that kind of private space travel and exploration, by commercial companies, that SpaceX wants to make money launching rockets for.

Boisterous cheering could be heard from SpaceX workers at the company's headquarters in Hawthorne, California, where a live stream feed of the event originated.

The Falcon Heavy has many functions, including its ability to bring cargo to the worldwide space station. Another company, Planetary Resources, hopes to mine asteroids to extract the vast amounts of precious metals. The mission was a historic success but with one hitch.

February 17: Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Paz satellite for Hidesat of Madrid in Space.

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