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SpaceX's big new rocket blasts off, puts sports car in space

SpaceX's big new rocket blasts off, puts sports car in space

Technology
SpaceX's big new rocket blasted off Tuesday on its first test flight, carrying a red electric sports car aiming for an endless road trip past Mars. The Falcon Heavy rose from the same launch pad used by NASA nearly 50 years ago to send men to the moon. With liftoff, the Heavy became the most powerful rocket in use today, doubling the liftoff punch of its closest competitor. For SpaceX, the private rocket company run by Elon Musk, it was a mostly triumphant test of a new, larger rocket designed to hoist supersize satellites as well as equipment to the moon, Mars or other far-flung points. For the test flight, a red sports car made by another of Musk's companies, Tesla, was the unusual cargo, enclosed in protective covering for the launch. The three boosters and 27 engines roared to life at...
Elon Musk's Falcon Heavy rocket launches successfully

Elon Musk's Falcon Heavy rocket launches successfully

World
Media playback is unsupported on your deviceUS entrepreneur Elon Musk has launched his new rocket, the Falcon Heavy, from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.The mammoth vehicle - the most powerful since the shuttle system - lifted clear of its pad without incident to soar high over the Atlantic Ocean.It was billed as a risky test flight in advance of the lift-off.The SpaceX CEO said the challenges of developing the new rocket meant the chances of a successful first outing might be only 50-50.With this debut, the Falcon Heavy aims to become the most capable launch vehicle available. It is designed to deliver a maximum payload to low-Earth orbit of 64 tonnes - the equivalent of putting five London double-decker buses in space.Such performance is slightly more than double that of the world's...
SpaceX set to launch massive Falcon Heavy rocket

SpaceX set to launch massive Falcon Heavy rocket

Technology
SpaceX is launching arguably its most daring mission to date Tuesday, when the Falcon Heavy rocket takes off on its first test flight. The Falcon Heavy rocket is massive, larger than anything that has launched since NASA's Saturn V missions, which took people to the moon. The rocket's target launch is set for Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. ET from Cape Canaveral, Florida, with a 2.5-hour launch window. There are windows scheduled on Wednesday and Thursday as well, in case Tuesday's launch doesn't work. Thousands of excited viewers are already lining up along the Florida coast to witness the event. Even actor Harrison Ford will be in attendance -- the Falcon, after all, is named after his Millennium Falcon from "Star Wars." This is a private mission funded by billionaire Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX -...
SpaceX's hot new monster rocket ready for first test flight

SpaceX's hot new monster rocket ready for first test flight

Technology
SpaceX's hot new monster rocket makes its launch debut this week, blasting off from the same pad that hoisted men to the moon a half-century ago. The Falcon Heavy won't surpass NASA's Saturn V moon rocket, still all-time king of the launch circuit. It won't even approach the liftoff might of NASA's space shuttles. But when it departs on its first test flight — as early as Tuesday — the Heavy with its three boosters and 27 engines will be the most powerful working rocket out there today, by a factor of two. Picture SpaceX's frequent-flyer Falcon 9 and its single booster and then times that by three; the Heavy's three first-stage boosters are strapped side by side by side. The Heavy represents serious business for the private space company founded 16 years ago by Elon Musk. With more than 5
Ariane rocket suffers rare launch anomaly

Ariane rocket suffers rare launch anomaly

Science
Europe's normally highly dependable rocket, the Ariane 5, experienced an anomaly during its latest launch.Telemetry from the vehicle was lost about nine minutes into its flight from French Guiana, shortly after its upper-stage began the final push for orbit.Uncertainty then followed as controllers tried to determine the status of Ariane and the satellites it was carrying.Eventually, though, radio signals from the spacecraft were picked up.It seems the rocket did do its job - but beyond the sight of controllers on the ground.However, it is also clear the Ariane 5 left the satellites in a less than perfect orbit.Arianespace, the company that operates the rocket from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana, issued a statement explaining that a tracking station located in Natal, Brazil, failed t...