The Cub Reporter

SpaceX Falcon Launch Could Give NASA More Options

Spaceships+launching+at+SpaceX.
Spaceships launching at SpaceX.

Spaceships launching at SpaceX.

via Flickr

via Flickr

Spaceships launching at SpaceX.

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On Tuesday, Feb. 6, SpaceX launched what is the most powerful rocket in the world, the Falcon Heavy. At 1:30 P.M. to 4:00 P.M., ET, the Falcon Heavy produced 5 million pounds of thrust. This is a demonstration test, so the Falcon Heavy will launch anything into space that is crucial. It is simply just a demonstration to see if a rocket this power could go into space without blowing up. This model carried a Tesla roadster and a dummy as it’s cargo.

At 1:30, history was made as the Falcon Heavy launched into space after a dramatic countdown finished The sleek, cylinder-shaped rocket glided smoothly through the Earth’s atmosphere and brought the Tesla and dummy into space. Hours later, two boosters extracted themselves from the rocket, and glided down back to Earth in order to be reused for later rockets. Instead of crashing somewhere like previous rockets, these two boosters landed safely back at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where the Falcon Heavy took off. The Falcon Heavy continued its journey, sending video clips of it’s cargo and what was going on. Seven hours later the final booster also came off of the Falcon Heavy, and attempted to land on a drone ship located in the Atlantic ocean. Unfortunately, connection with this booster broke down, and Elon Musk later informed the public that this booster had crashed in the Atlantic Ocean due to the malfunction of the booster, which had failed to ignite. Around seven hours after the initial take-off, Musk informed that the Falcon Heavy had now taken his sports car into the elliptical orbit away from Earth, and was starting to enter the orbit of Mars. This new rocket will change the future of space exploration, and it may give NASA new options.

SpaceX’s business with the Falcon Heavy could interest NASA. Thanks to the Trump Administration, NASA’s main focus now is to send another person to the moon. When complete, the Space Launch System rocket will be more powerful than the Falcon Heavy. But one major problem looms in the horizon: the SLS is still years away from flying it’s first flight. The first flight of the SLS will not be until 2022. Also, the SLS may cost more than 10 times the amount the Falcon Heavy cost. A cheaper rocket such as the Falcon Heavy could make lunar missions more possible.

NASA will most likely continue to build the SLS, but as the Falcon Heavy becomes more popular and regular, the Falcon Heavy will become more difficult to ignore. One thing that stands out about SpaceX is it’s budget prices. The Falcon Heavy will take-off at cheap rates of 90 million dollars a launch. This may seem like a lot, but it is actually cheap compared to other rockets. The SLS is projected to need 1 billion dollars per launch. Another thing great about the Falcon Heavy is that it is partially reusable. This saves SpaceX from paying more money the next time, and they will just use the parts that were recovered.

Overall, SpaceX is one of the most amazing companies in the world. The work that SpaceX does could change space exploration forever. The Falcon Heavy is one small step for SpaceX, but one giant leap for mankind!

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SpaceX Falcon Launch Could Give NASA More Options