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SpaceX Falcon Heavy Successfully Launches, Tesla Car Overshoots Mars Orbit

SpaceX Falcon Heavy Successfully Launches, Tesla Car Overshoots Mars Orbit

Falcon Heavy's liftoff from the Kennedy Space Station in Florida | SpaceX

On Feb. 6, Tuesday, Elon Musk's SpaceX successfully launched Falcon Heavy megarocket after being delayed for four years. It came with a red Tesla roadster that provided a surreal footage of space, although it overshot its destination — Mars' orbit.

After a lot of preparation for the launch, Musk still could not help but be surprised that it actually happened, with only a couple of minor hiccups.

Talking to reporters after the successful launch, the 46-year-old business magnate revealed that he did not really believe it would work out this time. "Crazy things can come true," he said. "When I see the rocket lift up, I see a thousand things that could not work, and it's amazing when they do."

Musk explained that he has seen rockets blow up for so many reasons, and has imagined the same for his Falcon Heavy, before it even left the pad at Kennedy Space Center. "But fortunately, that's not what happened," he told reporters.

The first stage of the launch went exactly as planned. The two Falcon 9 side boosters detached and landed smoothly back on Earth after successfully boosting the middle rocket into orbit. The center "core" booster, however, was not able to land on its drone ship. Falling at 300 miles per hour, it took out two of the drone ship's engines and hit the water instead.

"That sounds like some pretty fun footage, so if the cameras didn't get blown up as well, then we'll put that out for a blooper reel," Musk joked.

People down on Earth got a special treat from Starman, the mannequin that flew with the red Tesla roadster into space. Starman provided a livestream of the first hours of its journey through space, definitely a surreal experience that almost looked fake. SpaceX, however, ensures everyone that it is real.

The roadster was supposed to go around the sun, just outside Mars' orbit, for millions of years to come. However, the rocket worked too well this time, pushing the car beyond Mars' orbit, into the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Musk earlier revealed that the car hitting Mars's orbit was only a tiny chance anyway, but now space analysts hope to calculate the odds of it hitting a space object.


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