SpaceX’s test of their three booster, 27 engine rocket was an astounding success. The three side-by-side Falcon 9 boosters worked perfectly together. The two side boosters successfully separated, which I think is the highlight of the test.
Both of the side boosters were recovered. See astounding photo above.
The payload was successfully lifted into the Van Allen radiation belt and continued to operate. Apparently that is a major milestone (my little brain doesn’t understand why that was a tremendous deal to NASA).
The payload has been lifted into a Mars transfer orbit and then was set for a journey into the asteroid belt.
The big deal there is proving a heavy payload can be lifted into a Mars orbit.
The plan was to recover the center core on a drone recovery ship. Reportedly the core ran out of fuel and crashed into the sea next to the drone ship. Losing the core is a disappointment to SpaceX but that little failure is trivial to the overall success of proving the Falcon Heavy actually works!
Oh yeah, about that payload. Nobody in their right mind would put a real payload on a dangerous proof-of-concept test flight. Who would ever dare risking a multimillion dollar satellite?
Soooo, SpaceX put a Tesla roadster on the rocket and lofted it off on a centuries long orbit around the sun into the asteroid belt.
Why a car? To prove the Falcon Heavy can lift that much weight in a successful flight.
Why a Tesla? Just look at the fabulous PR it generated.
What a fantastic time to be alive.
The future is so bright we all need to wear sunglasses.