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article imageSpaceX has given a new generation of kids a reason to love space

By Karen Graham     Feb 6, 2018 in Science
SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket took off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, this afternoon and soared to space, carrying its payload — CEO Elon Musk’s red Tesla Roadster and Starman, a dummy wearing the latest in astronaut garb. Was it exciting? Oh, yes.
And depending on which live broadcast you were watching, from CBS to the Washington Post and SpaceX, there were literally hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. and around the world holding their collective breaths as the 27 Merlin engines on Falcon Heavy roared into life on its launch pad.
The two rocket boosters on the side of the huge rocket separated and landed back on solid ground - touching down around 1,000 feet from one another on SpaceX’s concrete landing pads, Landing Zone 1 and Landing Zone 2 in what looked like a simultaneous and beautifully choreographed landing.
Billionaire entrepreneur  Elon Musk.
Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk.
The center core booster broke away from the vehicle's upper stage and as it was coming down for a landing on the drone barge, situated about 300 miles off the Florida Space Coast, smoke obscured the camera and then the feed cut out from vibrations on the deck.
As for the core booster that was supposed to attempt a landing on the drone barge situated about 300 miles off the Florida Space Coast, as the booster rocket was coming in for a landing, smoke obscured the camera and then the feed cut out from vibrations on the deck. We'll know about what happened soon, I'm sure.
But on the positive side, the whole test launch can be called a great success for SpaceX, plus with two more boosters recovered, this brings their recovery total to 23 — and possibly 24 rockets.
The Orlando Sentinel reported the payload was successfully deployed, according to a Tweet by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk about 45 minutes after liftoff: “Upper stage restart nominal, apogee raised to 7000 km. Will spend 5 hours getting zapped in Van Allen belts & then attempt final burn for Mars.”
Elon Musk
A new generation of space lovers is born
While many people are of the opinion that the SpaceX launch today will touch off a heated competition for large-payload launch contracts among rivals, we have already seen this happening between SpaceX and United Launch Alliance, a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin.
However, a new generation of young people are being introduced to space in a way no one could have thought possible. Under the leadership of serial entrepreneur Elon Musk, SpaceX was founded in 2002 with $100,000 of his own money. All he wanted to do was build a simple, yet reusable rocket so that space travel could be more affordable.
And just so everyone knows, Elon Musk has Tweeted there is apparently a car in orbit with a Starman at the wheel. The youngsters will enjoy watching the live stream.
It may seem outrageous, but SpaceX is the first privately funded company to launch a liquid-fueled rocket (the Falcon 1) to soace and reach orbit. This happened on September 28, 2008. And the number of "firsts" is growing by leaps and bounds. And now, the space company can lay claim to having the world’s most powerful rocket.
And with all its successes and a few failures, Musk have managed to grow quite a following. And he dies this by creating an excitement that is contagious. “You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great – and that's what being a space-faring civilization is all about,” Musk has said, according to Mashable.
“It's about believing in the future and thinking that the future will be better than the past. And I can't think of anything more exciting than going out there and being among the stars.”
Two boosters make it back to perfect landing.
Two boosters make it back to perfect landing.
Today's launch created a lot of excitement, with spectators paying $195 each for a ticket in the bleachers at the Saturn V visitor center. There, they had a clear view of the launchpad across the Banana river just 3.9 miles away. People kept their children out of school, while some families traveled great distances to see the launch.
Cindy and Patrick Salkeld came from California to watch, reports The Guardian. “It was overwhelming, better than expected, unbelievable,” Mrs Salkeld said. “We couldn’t just see it, we could hear it and feel it vibrating the ground. It was emotional.” Patrick declared Elon Musk to be “brilliant."
Sean Clark and his six-year-old daughter Maia also came to see the launch, getting up very early and traveling from New Port Richey, Florida to get to the space center. “It’s just wow,” said Mr Clark. “It’s a whole new generation of kids getting excited about space. This is her third launch, she’s into space and science and I wanted to keep that interest going for the future. I came here for her future. It’s just amazing what Elon Musk has done and is doing.”
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