SpaceX Releases a Dramatic Animation of the Upcoming 'Falcon Heavy' Launch

Monday, 05 February 2018 - 7:50PM
SpaceX
Monday, 05 February 2018 - 7:50PM
SpaceX Releases a Dramatic Animation of the Upcoming 'Falcon Heavy' Launch
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SpaceX
SpaceX's big moment is almost here: tomorrow's launch of their enormous Falcon Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral, which will blast through the Earth's atmosphere for just long enough to launch Elon Musk's cherry red Tesla Roadster into space.

Now that they've got all the technicalities sorted out, they're promoting their big launch by posting a fancy simulation of how the launch will actually work, from the moment the Falcon Heavy lifts off until it travels into Earth's upper atmosphere, detaches its twin booster stages, and - most importantly, of course - fires Musk's car into space toward Mars.

It's a fairly impressive video, set just long enough to last through most of David Bowie's "Life on Mars". See the animated launch simulation below:



The Bowie references don't just end with the video's song choice, as the Tesla in the rocket's cargo hold will also be containing a dummy who's lovingly named "Starman." While the Mars-bound dummy isn't completely necessary, it does illustrate something important: the Falcon Heavy is designed to carry humans to destinations like the Moon, Mars, and potentially farther destinations within our solar system.

That's a big part of why this launch is such a big deal. Tomorrow, it might contain a fancy car with a dummy astronaut who looks vaguely like The Stig. But further down the line, it might contain real astronauts who are traveling to Mars, a feat which Musk claims he can accomplish within the next decade.



But this is all assuming that everything goes according to plan. SpaceX doesn't have a perfect track record, and they recently got into hot water for losing the mysterious ZUMA satellite for the U.S. government due to some unforeseen problems during the launch. Beyond that, they also have a habit of watching test launches go explosively wrong, but those were at least just tests.

The Falcon Heavy has already completed a test launch, and if this simulation proves anything, it's that SpaceX is confident about how exactly this launch is going to go. Unfortunately, if something does go awry, we'll know because it didn't happen in the simulation.

And if something does go wrong, hopefully it'll just involve a Tesla Roadster splashing into the ocean instead of traveling into space, and not involve a more critical flaw within the Falcon Heavy itself.

Starman in Red Roadster

A post shared by Elon Musk (@elonmusk) on

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