The Falcon Heavy can generate more than five million pounds of thrust at liftoff – Photo by Egypt Today
CAIRO – 7 February 2018: Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, doing business as SpaceX, has successfully launched its new Falcon Heavy rocket for the first time.
Just before the launching, the company revealed via live streaming that inside the rather unique cargo of a Tesla Roadster. The company also announced that it had placed “an “Arch” storage system containing Isaac Asimov’s Foundation book series.”
Liftoff! pic.twitter.com/2ypESsi1sF— SpaceX (@SpaceX) February 6, 2018
According to The Verge an Arch is a “5D, laser optical quartz storage device that is meant to be able to survive even in the harsh conditions of space, built by the Arch Mission Foundation.”
The foundation’s goal is to preserve libraries of human knowledge for interstellar travel and to protect these information in the event of calamity to Earth.
The goal, according to the group, was inspired by Asimov’s novels, which see mankind working to write an “Encyclopedia Galactica” to protect mankind against a coming dark age.
NASA has congratulated SpaceX via Twitter; “All of us in this business know the effort it takes to get to a first flight,” the agency said.
Congratulations @SpaceX! Acting Administrator Lightfoot: "All of us in this business know the effort it takes to get to a first flight...and recognize the tremendous accomplishment we witnessed today" https://t.co/SvJG2157zA https://t.co/JJK1RKFtPC— NASA (@NASA) February 6, 2018
The moment of the launch is deemed historic for SpaceX, which has been aiming to build and launch the rocket since 2011, as various delays and setbacks hindered the project from kicking off as targeted in 2013.
Tech Crunch described the rocket as having 27 Merlin engines (as many as three Falcon 9s) has a low-Earth orbit payload capacity of up to 140,700 lbs, or it can carry 58,900 lbs to geostationary transfer orbit (GTO), or 37,000 lbs to Mars.
The aforementioned numbers are of significance as SpaceX is planning Falcon Heavy as a key linchpin in its Mars plan, setting the stage for a system that can ferry goods and people between Earth and the red planet.
The Falcon Heavy, now officially the most powerful in the world, can generate more than five million pounds of thrust at liftoff, and carry 141,000 pounds of cargo to low Earth orbit.
The rocket is originally designed the rocket to carry humans into space, including potential missions to Mars, but Musk now says the Falcon Heavy will never involve human passengers—a task that will be delegated to a larger space-transportation system called the Big Falcon Rocket, or BFR, which is currently in development, according to Gizmondo.