SpaceX successfully launches world's most powerful rocket Falcon Heavy

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SpaceX successfully launched world's most powerful rocket Falcon Heavy from Cape Canaveral in Florida marking a historical feat for the company led by Tesla CEO Elon Musk.


"I'm still trying to absorb everything that happened because it's still kind of surreal to me," Musk told reporters after the launch.

The rocket carried a playful payload: Musk’s red Roadster, an electric sports car built by his other company, Tesla. Strapped inside the car is a mannequin wearing one of SpaceX’s spacesuits. They are expected to orbit the sun for hundreds of millions of years.

“It’s kind of silly and fun, but silly and fun things are important," Musk said.

The rocket, which has 27 Merlin engines (as many as three Falcon 9s) has a low-Earth orbit payload capacity of up to 140,700 lbs, or it can carry 58,900 lbs to geostationary transfer orbit (GTO), or 37,000 lbs to Mars. Those numbers are all important because SpaceX is planning Falcon Heavy as a key linchpin in its Mars plan, setting the stage for a system that can ferry goods and people between Earth and the red planet.

SpaceX managed to guide at least two of the Falcon Heavy's first-stage rocket boosters to land upright back on Earth. They cut back through the Earth's atmosphere and landed in unison at a Kennedy Space Center landing pad. The third booster was supposed to land on a sea-faring platform called a droneship -- but just as it was about to land, the livestream cut out. Musk confirmed after the launch that the booster crashed.