Yesterday I was anxiously searching for live feeds of the Falcon heavy launch. If successful, the rocket will be the most powerful to date and most economical with re-usable components.
The launch was postponed by an hour in order to do some extra diligence. At 3:45, the live stream was good and we saw the heavy rocket take off. I must say, Elon Musk has his unique style and it was reflected in this event.
Prior to launch in an interview he said that it could either be a spectacular firework or a great launch. They had done everything they could and now theory has to meet reality and reality always wins. He seemed relaxed and alert as well as excited.
What unfolded at 3:45 could easily be confused for a Hollywood production. The giant rocket took off and at exactly 2:30, the strap on boosters separated and turned around and found their way to land simultaneously upright on adjacent landing pads. The main rocket proceeded to eject its payload, a Tesla Roadster that belonged to Elon Musk. It had a dummy in a space suit in the drivers seat with a note that said “Don’t Panic”. This car will now make its way into an elliptical orbit around the Sun and reach Mars in 6 months.
Having delivered the payload, the main rocket returned back to its landing pad on sea. However, due to a glitch it was not able to land on the landing pad. Still, this event was proof of concept of getting 27 engines to work together to generate awesome thrust to send manned missions. Check it out here
However, this morning as I opened my Globe and Mail newspaper; I was dismayed that this event did not make it to the front page. What we had witnessed was historic. The person who made it happen (Elon Musk) is legendary. He should be awarded the man of the century or any such honor because he has laid the foundation of inter planetary travel.
To get an idea of his genius – consider this: He came out of nowhere and worked his way up through odd jobs, then PayPal after which he created Tesla from scratch and also came with SpaceX. People marvel at CEO’s who are managing a single big company where as Elon Musk is multi-tasking while creating new products, markets and business models while pushing boundaries of science.
Talking about editorial choices. The out of wedlock pregnancy of a starlet attracted more media coverage than this spectacular achievement. However, there is a steady fan following for Elon Musk and their numbers is growing by the day. Hope we get to orbit the Earth in our life time, thanks to Elon Musk.