Something very special happened on a launch pad in Florida yesterday!
SpaceX, a company run by Elon Musk, just launched the world’s most powerful rocket…
It marks the first time in history that a space rocket operated by a private company took off, carrying with it a really expensive sports car!
In the past, only government organisations had the ability to send stuff into space due to the high costs involved.
That’s not the only thing that makes it so special though! The rocket itself is actually reusable…
Special boosters disconnect from the side of the rocket, just before it leaves Earth’s atmosphere.
These then re-land, so they can be used again!
Just before liftoff at 3:45pm on 6th February, the owner of SpaceX, Elon Musk said described why a reusable rocket was so special…
It’s like where one aircraft company has reusable aircraft and all the other aircraft companies had aircraft that were single-use, and you’d sort of parachute out at your destination and the plane would crash land somewhere. Crazy at it sounds, that’s how the rocket business works.
The successful launch of the spacecraft, called Falcon Heavy, astounded people who watched it online and those who helped launch the rocket.
Elon Musk previously told news reporters he thought it only had a 50% chance of success!
He celebrated the launch with a couple of social media posts, one of which showed the circuit board aboard the spacecraft.
Made on Earth by Humans, it reads.
NASA has also congratulated SpaceX, which used its launch pad, saying that the future of space travel was now here.
About 4 minutes after launch, the clamshell-like covering that protects payloads at the top of the rocket deployed successfully.
It ejected a Tesla sports car, complete with a dummy in a space-suit.
The dashboard of the car – the bit where you normally listen to the radio – said “Don’t panic!” and was reportedly playing a David Bowie song.
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