Elon Musk’s SpaceX launches the world’s most powerful rocket



The Falcon Heavy launches from Cape Canaveral, Florida on Tuesday, February 6th. The rocket was carrying a Tesla Roadster and was being tested as the most powerful rocket in the world.

Gabe Hertz, Staff Writer

In 2018, most people have heard of Elon Musk.  While most know the business mogul as the CEO of Tesla Inc., it was with a different venture that Musk made recent headlines.  On Tuesday, Feb. 6, Musk’s other main company, SpaceX, successfully launched the Falcon Heavy rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.  Standing 230 feet tall and weighing over 3 million pounds, the state-of-the-art rocket, carrying a dummy payload of a Tesla Roadster to Mars, is among the first of its kind to be sent into space.

Although the rocket didn’t launch until this year, the idea for the Falcon Heavy dates back to as early as 2004.  In 2011, Musk officially revealed the concept at a conference in Washington D.C., with a planned initial launch in 2013.  However, due to numerous engineering problems and a misunderstanding for how long production would take, the initial launch was pushed back five years.

 “It actually ended up being way harder to do Falcon Heavy than we thought. … Really way, way more difficult than we originally thought. We were pretty naive about that,” said Elon Musk in an interview with The Verge. 

  In addition to the engineering complications, another possible reason for this delay may be the costly operating price.  According to Musk, it is estimated to cost 90 million dollars every time a Falcon Heavy rocket is launched. 

Despite this, the current capabilities and future possibilities of the Falcon Heavy seem to dwarf the steep cost per launch.  According to the SpaceX official website, at launch, the Falcon Heavy would become the most powerful rocket in the world, double the power of any other one. The Rocket can take up to 141,000 pounds of cargo into orbit. For comparison, that’s an amount greater than the combined mass of a Boeing 737 airplane loaded to the brim with passengers, fuel, and luggage.

While it is still in its developmental stage, the Falcon Heavy looks to be revolutionary in the future of space travel.  Because of its unprecedented power levels, Musk and his team at SpaceX believe this rocket can be used to send manned missions back to the moon: something that has not been done since 1972.  If that doesn’t sound ambitious enough, Musk believes the Falcon Heavy will be revolutionary in sending manned missions to Mars, where Musk is known to want to explore and potentially populate the area.

Although the long-term success of the Falcon Heavy is unknown as of right now, the successful launch of a rocket of this size and caliber is a significant feat in its own right.  The Falcon Heavy possesses unique power that has never been seen in any rocket before.  As our world’s technology continues to advance, NASA, Musk, and his team at SpaceX are working to collaborate on getting men back into space, let alone Mars.  A new age in space travel is on the horizon, and the Falcon Heavy could just be the thing that gets us there.