With Falcon Heavy launch, Elon Musk earns kudos even from competitors

Vermont man insists he didn’t kill mother grandfather

Elon Musk's SpaceX company is leading the charge with the successful launch of the Falcon Heavy towards the orbit of Mars, which is 140 million miles away.

Following the Falcon Heavy launch, SpaceX accomplished a feat never before seen in space history, re-landing two rocket cores back on earth.

The world's most powerful rocket, SpaceX's Falcon Heavy, roared into space through clear blue skies on its debut test flight on Tuesday from a Florida launch site in another milestone for billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk's private rocket service. Sonic booms rumbled across the region with the vertical landings. The auto battery was expected to last for about 12 hours after liftoff.

At 9:30 pm Eastern time, the rocket is expected to fire again, sending the Tesla Roadster out of Earth's orbit and on a path that will take it near Mars.

A Falcon Heavy launch costs about $90m while a Delta IV launch costs about $350, but can only carryabout a third weight as much into space.

The launch was created to show that the company could transport cargo for future clients and eventually carry people and supplies to colonize Mars.

While that is only a fraction of the US$19.5 billion government allocation to Nasa - which receives just under 0.5 per cent of the overall U.S. government budget - the SpaceX launch is a potent symbol of the private sector's appetite for space. And, as is the usual practice for SpaceX, all three boost stages - the lower segments of the rocket - returned to Earth to attempt controlled landings.

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The Falcon Heavy is a combination of three Falcon 9s, the rocket that the company uses to ship supplies to the International Space Station and lift satellites. According to the company, it will cost just $90 million per launch, a fraction of the price of similar heavy-lift rockets.

While the payload serves as a visually stunning stunt, the Falcon Heavy ship is on a mission to Mars, having taken off from Cape Canaveral on Tuesday.

The Roadster was also outfitted with a data storage unit containing Isaac Asimov's science fiction book series, the Foundation Trilogy, and a plaque bearing the names of 6,000 SpaceX employees.

For Jackson, the launch signifies a step forward for SpaceX's goals for taking humans into space and for interplanetary travel, and he looks forward to the development that will follow. SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk has described the attempt as "synchronized aerial ballet".

@ realDonaldTrump Congratulations @ ElonMusk and @SpaceX on the successful #FalconHeavy launch.

On Tuesday, Musk launched his biggest one yet from the same launchpad that sent Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins to the moon in 1969, a rocket capable of boosting a payload to Mars that's now the most powerful in the world.

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