So, this week was an exciting one in the realm of rockets. That happens to be a favorite realm of mine. I’ve been waiting for Falcon Heavy to launch for years. The last time something that powerful launched from the Cape would have been Space Shuttle in 2011. As you can imagine, a lot of people made the trek to the Space Coast to witness the historical moment. I would have but life said “not right now” and also if I go, it gets delayed. That’s just my luck. I attempted 4 Shuttle launches and only got the final attempt because of a glitch in Murphy’s Law! I jest. It’s just really hard to know if something will scrub a launch, especially an experimental one.
Speaking of which, experimental launches usually have a dummy payload or something to simulate the mass of an actual payload. No need to put a billion dollar satellite on something that might detonate like a small atomic weapon. So they put a car on it. Specifically Elon Musk’s personal Tesla Roadster. Inside they put “Starman”, a dummy in a suit that looks a lot like one of the members of Daft Punk. Where is the car going? Way out into space is where. It was said to be going to Mars but the truth is that it isn’t going to land on Mars but it’s orbit will take it out as far as and beyond Mars. It’s going to be orbiting the Sun just like most other things in the solar system. There, it will remain for millions or perhaps billions of years. I’m sure it’ll see some wear from the vacuum of space and relentless onslaught of solar wind.
The only part of the mission that didn’t quite go as planned was the center core sticking the landing out at sea. I’ve heard it only lit one engine vs three and subsequently hit the water going pretty fast. I’ve love to see that video footage as well. Elon Musk has a pretty good outlook on things as he’s posted plenty of videos of the spectacular failures they’ve had over the years.
The best part, if you weren’t there, is the amazing launch AND landing footage. I’ll post a couple of my favorites but I won’t get out of control.
This one is wicked! You need headphones because the sound is binaural and sounds like you’re actually there or pretty darn close. The whole video is cool but it should start a few seconds before liftoff with the clip I’m posting.
This landing and the sonic booms are just, wow. These guys were close.
Lastly, I give you the Earth from inside a Tesla Roadster. Queue up some relaxing music and kick back and take in the beauty.
It’s worth looking up other videos. With lots of bad things going on in the world, it’s nice to see things like this. We can accomplish great things if we work together.