Elon Musk says he wants a new “space race” – and he appears likely to get it as SpaceX enjoyed a thrilling performance of its Falcon Heavy rocket yesterday. The rocket launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida, carrying its test payload of a Tesla Roadster to space.
In the aftermath, SpaceX CEO Musk said the launch taught him that "crazy things can come true" – and even admitted that he wasn’t at all sure it would work. What we know now is that the rocket is the most powerful in the world. SpaceX has engineered it to not only carry heavy loads into space, but to do it at a fraction of the cost of competing rockets.
But it’s not like Musk is bragging, as the launch wasn't completely flawless. During the rocket-landing phase, two of the rocket's side engine cores landed successfully, but the center engine core had a malfunction. Musk said the center core smashed into the ocean at around 300 miles an hour.
- In case you were curious, President Trump was watching all the action yesterday – and has offered his congratulations to the SpaceX team. "Congratulations @ElonMusk and @SpaceX on the successful #FalconHeavy launch," Trump offered via Twitter. "This achievement, along with @NASA's commercial and international partners, continues to show American ingenuity at its best!" Musk thanked him and replied, "An exciting future lies ahead."
- ONE MORE THING! And if you want a closer look at the Tesla Roadster in space, there's a streaming feed from the car in space on YouTube.