“The weather is looking good,” said SpaceX CEO Elon Musk at a news conference yesterday. “The rocket is looking good.” Should that change and the launch get canceled, SpaceX will try again tomorrow with the same launch window. The Falcon Heavy is currently sitting on Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Armed with 27 Merlin engines, the Falcon Heavy will feature twice the launching power of any existing rocket. Its first stage consists of two Falcon 9 first-stage rockets, which are attached to a central “core” rocket, itself a modified Falcon 9 booster.
A dummy payload consisting of Musk’s personal Tesla Roadster sits up top in the cargo hold. With the radio repeatedly playing David Bowie’s “Life on Mars,” the shiny red Roadster will be placed in an elliptical orbit around the Sun at a distance that will take it as far out as Mars. The car is expected to stay in orbit for hundreds of millions of years, possibly even longer. To make it happen, the Falcon Heavy’s upper stage will coast for about six hours before firing its second stage for a third time. It’s a neat publicity stunt, but it’ll also demonstrate the rocket’s ability to send payloads directly to geostationary orbit.
hopefully it all goes well with the launch today, might tune in online and check it out if i can (and remember)… kinda funny about elon musk putting his tesla roadster up there to float around the solar system for the next couple hundred million years — i can just see some aliens swinging through and stumble’n across it and being like “ummm, what the fuck is this?”