There has been no story involving space that has been fascinating over the past year than that of SpaceX and their goal to launch the Falcon Heavy rocket into space. SpaceX has become the face of the private space industry and Elon Musk has become something of a puppeteer, bringing it all together with his trademark eccentricity. When Musk announced his plans to launch SpaceX’s biggest rocket, the Falcon Heavy, faces around the world were skeptical. When Musk went on to explain that the rocket would also be housing his own custom Tesla, complete with David Bowie’s music playing from the dash, faces went slack with awe. Now, we can look back and see that the future is here and the launch went off without a hitch.
The Falcon Heavy launch took place on February 6th, 2018 at Cape Canaveral, Fl. After a brief delay due to wind conditions, everything was back in order and the rocket would end up taking flight on schedule. Still, that doesn’t mean that there weren’t a few nervous faces in the crowd. Among the nervous faces was Elon Musk himself, who was filled with the kind of existential dread that only creatives can get. Musk says of the launch, “I had this image of a giant explosion on the pad.” Musk goes on to say that he dreamed of a wheel “bouncing down the road and the Tesla logo landing somewhere with a thud.” Fortunately, things couldn’t have gone better.
When the Falcon Heavy took off, people were amazed at how smooth and effective it ended up going. The second stage of the Falcon Heavy launch made it straight into orbit while the first stage of the Falcon 9 acted as a booster before landing back on Earth. There were no mysterious explosions, no Tesla logo careening down the road, no failures. In fact, the only thing marring the entire experience was that the core booster failed to land directly on the drone target it was aiming at. Musk admits that the footage from the failed landing will likely be “fun” and that he is planning on adding it to a blooper reel at some point in the future.
The highlight of the entire launch happened after the rocket was in the air. SpaceX opened up a live feed from within the rocket, showing the red Tesla careening into space. The image showed the Tesla, complete with David Bowie playing in the background, with the Earth reflected off of the dashboard.