On Tuesday, the whole world watched with bated breath as SpaceX launched the Falcon Heavy into history. I was lucky enough to have the privilege of watching the whole performance live.
And it was a performance.
This was no mere test flight: this was Musk, at the peak of his powers, strutting and conducting a near perfect launch in front of the entire world – to the tune of David Bowie no less. With this momentous flight, SpaceX has now cemented its status as the superpower in the space race.
Here are a few amazing facts to blow your mind:
- Falcon Heavy is the world’s most powerful rocket – with 27 engines and 5,000,000 pounds of thrust, it is the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two.
- It has the ability to carry 64 metric tons of payload. Only Saturn V (the rocket that took us to the moon) had the ability to carry more payload.
- Tesla Roadster is now the fastest car ever made. During the launch, when Musk’s roadster separated from the payload fairings, it was travelling at a blistering speed of 12 km/s.
Anyway, the list goes on. But, Musk isn’t even close to being done yet: his vaulting ambition doesn’t seem like it will rest until it has tested the very limits of human ingenuity. His next moonshot project is perhaps even more ambitious than the Falcon Heavy: the BFR or the Big Falcon Rocket (why? what did you think it meant 🙃) Here is a video of that shows off the capability of the BFR:
Imagine having the ability to travel anywhere in Earth in less than an hour. Eat your heart out Concorde!
Now, all of this may sound like a very distant future but Musk says the BFR could be tested as early as 2020. And, given his recent successes, it would take a brave man (or indeed a foolish one) to bet against him.
I don’t know if Musk is trying to be Tony Stark, Dr. No, or Zaphod Beeblebrox, but I have absolutely no problem electing him as Galactic President.
He’s definitely lightyears ahead of His Orangeness.