SpaceX announced Sept. 17 that a Japanese billionaire will be paying an undisclosed but significant sum to buy a flight of the company’s next-generation rocket for a flight around the moon carrying a group of artists.
Whether it’s space or defense technology, successful innovation doesn’t come easy, even for SpaceX. CEO Elon Musk revealed that the company almost terminated the Falcon Heavy program three times after it started in 2011.
The images that attracted the most interest from the Falcon Heavy launch, though, had nothing to do with the rocket itself. For several hours after liftoff, SpaceX provided a live feed from cameras mounted on the upper stage, showing its attached payload: a Tesla Roadster sports car with a spacesuited mannequin, dubbed “Starman,” sitting in the driver’s seat.
As SpaceX gears up for the first launch of its Falcon Heavy rocket, the company is backing away from one potential use of the vehicle, launching crewed missions beyond Earth orbit.
SpaceX is now planning to attempt the first launch of its Falcon Heavy rocket around the end of this month, the company’s chief executive said Jan. 4.
SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk said late Dec. 1 that he has selected the payload that will fly on the first launch of the company’s long-delayed Falcon Heavy rocket in January: a Tesla sports car.
SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk announced plans to develop a revised version of a reusable interplanetary transport system that he said would be more affordable and versatile.
It will be the fifth mission for the Air Force's advanced spaceplane, and the first time it hasn't lifted off aboard a ULA rocket.
"Perhaps there will be some future bill that makes a difference for Mars, but this is not it," he wrote.