While space exploration was once a political tool and a driving force during the Cold War, rockets and space travel are no longer just for the government. These days, space travel and commercial space exploration are ongoing developments in the world of aviation and are becoming a driving force in aerospace innovation.
Elon Musk, creator and innovator behind Tesla has been breaking barriers in this field with his latest venture, Space Exploration Technologies aka SpaceX. After the planning and testing for the better part of a decade, the long-awaited Falcon Heavy spacecraft is scheduled to launch on February 6th, 2018. If successful, this aircraft will be the most powerful rocket in the world.
Development of Falcon Heavy
Falcon Heavy has been in the works for Elon Musk and SpaceX since 2011. Backed by the power of 27 engines, this aircraft is 18 times more powerful than a 747 plane. This aircraft will be the most powerful spacecraft in the world by a factor of two. The spacecraft was created with the intention to transport people, and its technology opens the possibility to brings humans to the moon and mars in the future.
Though Falcon Heavy had severe setbacks in 2015 and in 2016, the SpaceX team continued to push forward with its development. If all goes as planned this ship is slated to launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida on February 7th.
Yes, The Rocket Will Have Musk’s Tesla Roadster Onboard
While many people thought Musk was joking when he said his rocket would be launching a Tesla into outer space, recent accounts show he was completely serious. Spacecrafts like this one will often be launched with cargo of similar weight to what it is intended to carry, often concrete blocks or other cargo of similar weight. In a recent Instagram post, Musk said loading the ship with concrete and placeholders “seemed incredibly boring” and would instead launch a piece of more stylish cargo into space: his personal cherry red Tesla Roadster.
The car’s sound system will be playing Space Odyssey by David Bowie when the ship launches. Though Musk and SpaceX know this mission has a good chance of failing, if the mission is successful it will bring humans significantly closer to exploring Mars than ever before.
SpaceX and the Future of Commercial Space Travel
SpaceX is the only privately-held company to have ever returned a spacecraft from low-orbit to earth. They are the team behind a number of space-related innovations, among which include reusing spacecrafts, making space travel more efficient, and even pioneering touristic space travel for humans. Some additional dreams Elon Musk has on the horizon for this company include:
- To make it feasible for humans to travel to Mars
- To launch satellites into space to create faster internet everywhere
- To make rapid intercontinental transport possible for rockets
At J&K Connectors, we’re passionate about aviation innovations of all kinds. To keep up with our latest updates and news, keep in touch on social media!
Image courtesy of Flickr.com.