Falcon Heavy Launch

Gunnar Strom, Contributor

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Elon Musk is one of the most influential people living right now. He founded the company Tesla, and now he is making big advancements in rocketry and space travel with his company, SpaceX. SpaceX’s goal is to make space travel better and more affordable, with the hope that they can advance further into space and make space travel affordable and available to any and all people. This goal in itself is quite amazing since we still haven’t been able to land a man on Mars (another project that SpaceX is hoping to tackle), however, even more amazing is the progress that Elon Musk and the SpaceX team have been achieving just in the past few months.

In the past few weeks, SpaceX launched one of their Falcon Heavy rockets, two complimentary boosters attached to the main rocket, which itself is a booster. The rocket’s job, while just being a test drone for SpaceX, was to launch from Earth, get into orbit, decouple its boosters, and have all three come back to Earth and land without a scratch, something that hasn’t been done much with the Falcon Heavy. The mission was successful until the very end, with everything going according to plan. The boosters decoupled and all three pieces flew back to Earth, but while the two side boosters made it back safe and sound, the main body was not so lucky. Everything went right, however, the body of the rocket ran out of fuel on the way back to the launch pad and crashed into the ocean. Luckily, it was recovered and parts were saved from the rocket to rebuild and improve.

Then, just the other day, the SpaceX crew succeeded in their goal that left a rocket in the ocean: they landed all three pieces on Earth. Well, two of them on Earth. The third bit, again the main body, was actually landed on a ship in the middle of the ocean, an engineering feat all on its own. The rocket landed successfully and the crew of the ship began sailing back to shore. However, once again, setbacks hit the SpaceX crew. The ship wound up in the middle of a storm, and despite the best efforts of everyone on board, the rocket toppled into the depths of the ocean. “As conditions worsened with eight to ten-foot swells, the booster began to shift and ultimately was unable to remain upright,” the company said Tuesday. “While we had hoped to bring the booster back intact, the safety of our team always takes precedence. We do not expect future missions to be impacted.”







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