Here are a few more pix of the successful test of SpaceX’s brand new Falcon Heavy and its payload.
The Falcon Heavy consists of three Falcon 9 engines strapped together. This is the heaviest lifting rocket in operation today.
SpaceX didn’t get a paying customer to put a payload on the rocket. That makes sense because it would be terribly risky.
There are hints (can’t find the link so won’t give credit or specific quote) that SpaceX informally offered NASA and the Air Force a free ride, but the rumors say both declined. That makes sense, even at zero cost, it would be too risky to put a gazillion dollar satellite on a test bed just to save $60M or whatever the price would be.
So, SpaceX loaded this as cargo:
Yup. That is a cherry red Tesla roadster, launched fast enough to either go into Mars transfer orbit or further out in our solar system.
Some comments are saying that is cheesy, or just a cheap PR stunt.
I call it a fantastically successful PR stunt. A large portion of people who pay even passing attention to news are aware SpaceX had a successful launch. Oh, it is also a wonderful proof of concept.
The Falcon Heavy works. Lift with three boosters was successful. The two side boosters were recovered. Only thing that made the mission slightly less that totally, completely, 100.0% successful is that the core booster for some reason only fired 1 engine on descent instead of 3, thus causing it to hit the water at 300 mph. Imagine that cannonball splash!
Again, the Falcon Heavy works, and side boosters are recoverable.