Elon Musk admitted there was a chance that it might go horribly wrong. Pundits weren’t sure that it could work, Jason Davis of the Planetary Society, described the Falcon Heavy as ‘mythical’, adding that the launch was a ‘huge deal, even for a spaceflight company that routinely accomplishes huge deals’.
The Falcon Heavy would eventually lift off without any issues, its payload secure and on its way to Mars. Musk’s red Tesla Roadster marked a massive victory for SpaceX, as it showed the world that the company was serious about its plans to go to Mars and further space exploration as a whole. Not only that, but it proved that it could still recycle the parts of what is now the world’s most powerful operational rocket. Both of the Falcon Heavy’s side boosters landed smoothly on two separate landing pads, as have many of SpaceX’s previous models, however the middle booster, the larger of the three was lost. Despite this, Elon Musk’s company has still pulled off a massive coup.
SpaceX hasn’t been coy about their plans for the Falcon Heavy, with the company expressing their desire for the rocket to be used to take payloads to the Moon or Mars, and its successful launch has certainly solidified them as the leaders in the 21st Century’s Space Race. Although it is smaller than the spacecraft launched by NASA throughout the past sixty years, the Falcon Heavy is currently the largest active one on the market. Many have speculated that NASA may resort to using SpaceX for future missions as a result of this successful launch.
The Heavy is capable of delivering, in one fell swoop, 140,660 pounds (63,800 kilograms) of cargo to low-Earth orbit, nearly 60,000 pounds (26,700 kilograms) to high-Earth orbit, 37,000 pounds (16,800 kilograms) to Mars, or 7,700 pounds (3,500 kilograms) to Pluto. Its ability and flexibility is definitely something that will work in its favor. Several months after its’ successful launch, SpaceX continued its fundraising for a future Mars project, raising close to $507 million, which has pushed the company’s valuation to $25 billion.
SpaceX has slowly but surely been moving towards its Mars mission, operating in the dark and every now and then giving everyone a taste of what their R&D department has in store. With their self-imposed deadline quickly approaching it seems as though Musk’s company will be able to hold their promise and be the first private company to lead a massive space exploration program.