The long-anticipated Falcon Heavy – the world’s most powerful rocket – launched yesterday afternoon from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida. It lifted clear of its pad without incident to soar high over the Atlantic Ocean, resulting in a big success.
SpaceX’s creation, a variant of Falcon 9, consisted of three boosters, 27 engines and five million pounds of thrust and with this debut, it becomes the most capable launch vehicle available. Not only is it memorable for its performance but also for its dramatic flair, with SpaceX’s CEO, Elon Musk deciding on a whimsical payload, his old cherry-red Tesla sports car with a space-suited mannequin strapped in the driver’s seat and a David Bowie soundtrack playing on a loop.
The Tesla and its space-suited passenger have been despatched into an elliptical orbit around the sun that reaches out as far as the Planet Mars. In the future, SpaceX hope for the Falcon Heavy to carry astronauts and not just cargo. Having such a large and powerful rocket should open up some fascinating new possibilities for the SpaceX Company, including giving astronauts another chance to visit the moon.
The future of engineering
The success of the Falcon heavy increases the likelihood that humans could one day make it to Mars and highlights the importance of engineering in society. As discussed in our previous blog, 2018 is the Year of Engineering, aiming to tackle the engineering skills gap. However, great successes like this may open the eyes of those debating on a career in the industry. This achievement can also be a cause for celebration this year alongside the first passenger journeys made on the Elizabeth Line and the 200th anniversary of the founding of the institute of Civil Engineers.
Later this month we will be getting up close and personal with the Bloodhound, the rocket-powered fighter car exploring the tangible impact of research, design and development. Projects such as this capture the imagination of a young generation in a way that only a white-knuckle sprint into the unknown can.
To find out more about how Morson are supporting the Year of Engineering click here.