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  • We've come to see the launch of

  • SpaceX's next big rocket, the Falcon Heavy.

  • This vehicle can create more than five million pounds

  • of thrust at liftoff, and is capable of putting

  • around 140,000 pounds into lower Earth orbit.

  • That's more than twice the weight that any other rocket

  • currently on the market can carry.

  • So right now, the Falcon Heavy holds the title

  • for the most powerful rocket in the world.

  • - I'm very excited about this launch because

  • I think this is gonna really show

  • that we can do giant rockets again.

  • Most space organizations, government or commercial,

  • have set their sights too low.

  • They've really built relatively small rockets.

  • And Falcon Heavy is the first time

  • that there's something that's arguably

  • even in the super heavy class or somewhere between

  • heavy and super heavy:

  • showing that you can launch a giant rocket

  • and have it be commercially viable,

  • carry satellites, potentially carry people.

  • Falcon Heavy is capable of actually taking

  • a dragon mission of taking people around the moon.

  • - Is there any update on that, by the way?

  • - Not yet. - Not yet.

  • - We're sort of debating whether to do that

  • on Falcon Heavy or BFR (big f***ing rocket) , it will all sort of depend on

  • how well the BFR development's going, as to

  • whether we focus on BFR for deep space human flight

  • or whether we do that on Falcon Heavy.

  • - What do you see has been the biggest challenge

  • for making this rocket fly?

  • - The biggest challenge of getting to the launch pad

  • has been that we had to completely redesign the center core.

  • The load going through the center core is

  • much greater than would normally go through

  • a Falcon 9 rocket.

  • Each of the side boosters is putting in

  • half a million pounds of thrust into the center core.

  • So you have an incremental million pounds of force

  • going through that center core,

  • which means we had to really redesign

  • almost the entire stage.

  • All the way through the inner stage

  • had to be redesigned to strengthen it.

  • - Okay, well I have one more question,

  • but I want to know what you're most excited about

  • when you've launched this rocket by tomorrow.

  • - I'll be really proud of the SpaceX team

  • for having accomplished this incredible task.

  • And hopefully we inspire the public

  • to get excited about space again.

  • But it's not just the public

  • getting excited about the Falcon Heavy.

  • Some customers, like the Planetary Society,

  • are planning on using Falcon Heavy for their next flights,

  • hoping that a successful test launch

  • will spell success for their missions as well.

  • - We are tied to SpaceX.

  • We wish us the best today.

  • SpaceX is really visionary, but it really is

  • a fantastic idea.

  • Rockets should be like airplanes

  • where you don't throw them away,

  • you use them and then reuse them.

  • So it's visionary.

  • - Now if everything goes well today,

  • how will it feel to see that Falcon Heavy soar?

  • - Oh it'll be great.

  • So, we flew the first LightSail almost two years ago,

  • and it's a thrill.

  • We're very excited about it.

  • The idea is to democratize space,

  • to lower the cost of getting to many destinations

  • in our solar system.

  • The reason you do this everybody,

  • the reason the Society does this,

  • there are two questions, Loren, that we have all asked:

  • Where did we come from?

  • How'd we all get here, where did we come from?

  • And are we alone in the universe?

  • And if you want to answer those two questions,

  • you have to explore space.

  • We're finally here at NASA's press site.

  • After all of the hype,

  • after so many years of waiting, and it is intense.

  • I've been to a couple of launches here before,

  • but I've never seen it this packed.

  • Just getting in here today, there was a huge traffic jam.

  • And the vibe here?

  • Everybody is super anxious.

  • We're really ready to see this thing get off the ground.

  • Originally the launch was set for 1:30 p.m. Eastern.

  • Then it got pushed back to two.

  • Then 2:20, then 2:50.

  • It turned out upper level winds in the area

  • were too high for flight,

  • and SpaceX was trying to wait for them to die down.

  • People started worrying that they'd have to

  • come back the next day.

  • So we've all been on edge today,

  • SpaceX kept pushing the launch time

  • back, and back, and back.

  • Now we have a new T-minus zero which is 3:45 p.m.,

  • but our launch window only lasts until four p.m.

  • However, the rocket is loaded with propellant,

  • so I think it might actually go up today.

  • - The center core locks look complete.

  • - Tropic lower has ended,

  • Strombeck's at 88.2 degrees.

  • - Falcon Heavy gas loads are complete

  • and Heavy is configured for flight.

  • - T-minus 15, stand by for general count.

  • - Launch to red code.

  • - Ten, nine, eight.

  • - Side base to ignition.

  • - Six, five, four, three,

  • two, one, zero, ignition.

  • - Oh my god.

  • - Ooh, it's hitting us.

  • Wow, that is a beast.

  • Oh my god, you feel it.

  • We can still see it clear as day.

  • It's supersonic, b*tches.

  • Oh my god.

  • I'm gonna go.

  • - I'm gonna keep rolling.

  • - Hold on Loren, we're gonna go together.

  • - Side boosters begin.

  • The center.

  • Side boosters' landing legs are deployed.

  • - And the Falcon has landed.

  • - We're gonna hear six sonic booms.

  • Oh my god.

  • Oh, man.

We've come to see the launch of

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Elon Musk on how Falcon Heavy will change space travel

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    Rachel Kung posted on 2018/02/23
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