SpaceX Falcon Heavy Lifts Off Successfully
Elon Musk has confirmed a successful take-off of the world's greatest rocket, and two out of the three cores returned successfully to the landing site. One which was supposed to land on a drone ship in the Atlantic exhausted its propellant and couldn't land safely. It destroyed on impact with water. This was just a test flight, and its payload? A Tesla Roadstar owned by CEO Elon Musk.
According to SpaceX, When Falcon Heavy lifts off, it will be 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 lb)---a mass greater than a 737 jetliner loaded with passengers, crew, luggage and fuel--Falcon Heavy can lift more than twice the payload of the next closest operational vehicle, the Delta IV Heavy, at one-third the cost. Falcon Heavy's first stage is composed of three Falcon 9 nine-engine cores whose 27 Merlin engines together generate more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff, equal to approximately eighteen 747 aircraft. Following liftoff, the two side boosters separate from the center core and return to landing sites for future reuse. The center core, traveling further and faster than the side boosters, also returns for reuse, but lands on a drone ship located in the Atlantic Ocean. At max velocity the Roadster will travel 11 km/s (7mi/s) and travel 400 million km (250 million mi) from Earth.