TECH
06/02/2018 20:54 GMT | Updated 06/02/2018 21:48 GMT

SpaceX Falcon Heavy Rocket Launch Success

It was playing Bowie's 'Space Oddity' on the way up.

SpaceX has successfully launched its Falcon Heavy rocket.

The rocket - the most powerful since the Space Shuttle - launched without incident, delivering its unique payload in the form of Elon Musk’s very own Tesla sports car.

Both side rockets then returned to Earth and successfully landed simultaneously.

SpaceX

Launching high into orbit at 20:45 GMT, the rocket performed perfectly despite concerns over high altitude winds that had delayed the launch to within just 15 minutes of its cutoff point.

SpaceX

On board the rocket was Elon Musk’s very first Tesla Roadster sports car along with a dummy of SpaceX’s brand-new spacesuit in the driving seat.

Both have now begun a 400,000,000km journey towards Mars, supposedly while playing Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’.

SpaceX
The car will now begin a daunting 400 million kilometre journey to Mars.
SpaceX
"DON'T PANIC" is comfortingly placed on the SatNav screen as a nod to the Sci-Fi author Douglas Adams.

With SpaceX giving the launch a 50/50 success rate it was not clear whether or not the rocket would make it into orbit, let alone land all three of its rockets back onto Earth.

Despite this, both side cores descended back to Earth and simultaneously landed themselves without incident.

What is Falcon Heavy?

Falcon Heavy is the largest rocket designed by Elon Musk’s private space company SpaceX. It will one of the most powerful rockets ever built and is the next step in SpaceX’s journey towards building a rocket large enough to take humans to Mars.

SpaceX

It is comprised of three smaller Falcon 9 rockets effectively strapped together.

While it can’t compete with NASA’s iconic Saturn V Moon rocket which generated 7.5 million pounds of thrust, Falcon Heavy will take the current top spot as being the rocket able to lift the most amount of cargo into space.

Elon Musk

Once fully operational it will have the thrust of 18 Boeing 747 passenger jets and be able to lift the equivalent of a Boeing 737 airliner filled with fuel, luggage and passengers into space.