LIVE VIDEO: SpaceX Launches Falcon Heavy Rocket

Space.com reports:

SpaceX’s giant new rocket, the Falcon Heavy, is set for its risky first test launch today (Feb. 6) from the historic Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The launch window stretches from 1:30 to 4 p.m. EDT (1830 to 2100 GMT).

SpaceX’s current Falcon 9 rocket launches cargo to the International Space Station and lofts satellites into orbit. The rocket’s first stages often land to be reused in future launches. The Falcon Heavy is an extreme version of this setup, built to lift more and go further.

What is essentially three Falcon 9 first stages boost the rocket into space, and SpaceX will attempt to land all three of them. Two will set down on land, while the center stage, which will travel further, will land on a floating barge.

More from the New York Times:

The Falcon Heavy will be able to lift more payload than any other American rocket since the Saturn 5, the gargantuan rocket that NASA used for the Apollo moon landings. (The space shuttle also had more liftoff thrust, but less payload capacity, because most of the thrust went into lifting the orbiter.) It is also the first time that a commercial company has developed such a large rocket without any government financing.

The Falcon Heavy will allow SpaceX to bid on missions for the Air Force for some spy satellites that are too heavy for the Falcon 9, and it could be useful to NASA for launching large space probes. Some think it could even serve as a replacement for the Space Launch System, a gigantic rocket NASA is currently developing for carrying astronauts on deep space missions, to the moon and eventually Mars.

I’ll bump up this post closer to launch time.

  • DaddyRay

    Elon Musk sure does have an interesting life

  • Lars Littlefield

    Is Elon Musk married? Do you think he would enjoy a man on man hummer?

    • Bad Tom

      He is divorced.

    • bkmn

      He has been off and on with Amber Heard, Johnny Depp’s ex.

    • saucetin

      Biodiesel Hummer maybe

  • Bad Tom

    Go, Elon, Go!

    I’ve been watching SpaceX since its founding. They’ve done very, very well. I hope this shot works; but it is the first real test of a Falcon 9 with two strapons to the core. Max Q will be very high.

    • David L. Caster

      And it worked perfectly.

  • i’m sure i won’t like the results if i go look, but tell me he’s paying for the priv of using public launch resources. i get less comfortable with involving him in all this stuff all the time. he answers to no one.

    • Bad Tom

      Yes, SpaceX pays to use the public launch facilities. They are the reason those launch pads have been redeemed from ABANDON IN PLACE status.

      • what i don’t like is the idea that some billionaire is in a position to do a mess of scary things. read the article. he’s not getting involved with unicorns r us up there, he’s getting involved with the technology that our military would be using if they wanted to launch nukes. are you really ok with that? like i said, what if he goes bonkers? the traitor is a good example. he’d be very difficult to stop.

        • Rambie

          They aren’t going to be launching nukes via SpaceX rockets. Perhaps spy sats but not weapons

        • Bad Tom

          He got to be a billionaire by doing those things. He isn’t doing those these because he is a billionaire.

          By the way, people thought he was NUTS to spend HIS OWN MONEY on space rockets!

          But he is a bad guy because it worked.

          • David L. Caster

            I’m pretty sure that Musk really is one of the good guys. His clean energy initiatives were his first passion. It is his belief in the necessity of man becoming a multi planet species that has driven his second passion for space travel. As billionaires go, he truly is putting his money to good use in the Interest of mankind.

          • Bad Tom

            I am pretty sure he’s a good guy too.

          • David Walker

            And then there’s the wind generator battery he’s building in Australia.

    • Bad Tom

      You can make the exact same argument (and people did!) against Edison, Bell, Westinghouse, and Ford, among many, many others.

      Should we not have automobiles, electric lighting, telephones, a national grid?

      Those are the choices.

      • David L. Caster

        Edison was not quite the hero many make him out to be. The others in that list are better examples, particularly Westinghouse, who is a closer analog to Musk.

        • Bad Tom

          Edison was an absolute asshole. He would set goons to smash movie sets (and actors!) who he felt were infringing on his movie patents (which he ripped off.) He electrocuted animals in public in his infamous “war of the currents” with Tesla.

          Those things don’t change the fact that Edison invented the concept of the industrial laboratory. That transformed research and development forever.

          Nor that he developed the first practical, popular, record player, and electric light bulb, and made big improvements in telephone microphones, electric storage batteries, and a host of other inventions.

          • David L. Caster

            All true. He personally invented little, but certainly enabled the invention and commercialization of the things you mentioned.

          • AmeriCanadian

            Bill Gates must have taken a page from his book.

          • David L. Caster

            Pretty close. Gates is widely believed to have stolen his Basic system from DEC.

          • Bad Tom

            I have to disagree with the statement “he personally invented little.” He certainly took credit for all that his laboratory developed; but every biography I’ve read of him depicts him as vigorously engaged in the various development projects he directed.

            Also, when he was a young man, before he had the resources for a large industrial laboratory, he very much invented things himself. Those early inventions primarily involved improvements to telegraphy, where he made his first fortune.

            He also failed at a number of development projects. He tried to develop an electric car. Getting the batteries to survive crashes was particularly difficult. His test was flinging them out an upper story window of his lab. If they still worked later, they were good.

            Edison got the electric car to work; but it was too expensive, with too limited a range, to be economically viable. That particular storyline was the deal for electric cars until very recently.

            Edison also failed at a mining automation project that nearly ruined him.

            To be sure, I once bought an antique light that was stamped Edison & Co. I’m sure he didn’t do much to develop that particular lamp; by the time that lamp was
            made, there was nothing interesting to do with light bulbs, and anyone could design it.

          • David L. Caster

            We’ve arrived a one of the great controversies surrounding Edison: just what truly new ideas were the product of his sole invention.

            It was Edison himself who created the image of “Edison the prolific inventor”, a role he played for the media happily, but despite this, in almost every case in practice, Edison played the role of head of R&D and PR, and not the role of the sole inventor. Edison accomplished his goals so well, both in terms of self-promotion and bringing his products to market, that we still discuss his impact today.

            —Did Thomas Edison Actually Personally Invent Anything?

          • Bad Tom

            I’m having this discussion personally, with my own staff.

            US law requires that the ACTUAL INVENTOR be published on a patent. I’m writing a patent now. (Actually, I’m goofing off from writing the patent.)

            A number of people have worked with me on this invention, which uses AI in a novel way. Yet, so far everyone declines credit for the core claims. I will be the sole inventor.

            You must be able to put a name to the inventor of each WORKING CONCEPT which you claim to be a feature of your invention. Not the coder. Not the developer. When you break it down that way, the situation becomes much clearer.

            Being like Steve Jobs is perfectly fine; Steve Jobs invented quite a few things, even if his major contributions were in design and concept. Those are legitimate inventive domains.
            ——-
            The primary reference you cite in turn cites Wikipedia for its main claims. The only academically trustworthy sources are GE.com and Rutgers.edu. The other citations are to news publications or other websites.

            Every Edison biography I’ve read has been far better sourced that this article. I have to trust them more.

          • David L. Caster

            Understood.

        • Bad Tom

          My CEO absolutely despises Elon Musk. He and I agree to disagree on this.

          • David L. Caster

            Interesting. I wonder why?

          • Bad Tom

            He says Musk drives his people too hard. I don’t have any direct evidence, or even indirect evidence. People seem to like working for SpaceX.

            Musk also doesn’t act like a jerk in other ways. This has come up in our regular tech calls whenever I’ve praised as SpaceX success.

          • David L. Caster

            Musk has made a habit of overcommitting and he has put a lot of pressure on folks in his car plant. Some of them have been injured because of a failure to recognize that certain jobs were not designed correctly to prevent repetitive motion stress on, and damage to, the human body. I suspect like everything else, it’s a matter of learning a new industrial skill for Tesla and SpaceX. As to whether or not this is the result of a failure of leadership is an open question. Nevertheless, unreasonable demands can cause problems with and harm to a workforce and individual workers.

          • Bad Tom

            That makes sense.

        • Bad Tom

          Such people as Edison are often unpleasant in person. But they have, somehow, made an alliance with an elemental force of nature. In Edison’s case, it was carbon. Many of his inventions depended in one way or another on carbon.

          For example, Edison invented a carbon based device to directly measure the intensity of starlight.

          Tesla wasn’t an easy person to work with, either. His alliance seems to have been with the electric and magnetic field. Most of his inventions depended directly on them. We use Tesla’s inventions today everywhere you look.

          • David L. Caster

            That’s an interesting observation and suggests that Tesla was working at a more fundamental level than his peers by quite literally tapping into a genuine force of nature, electromagnetism.

          • Bad Tom

            I think Tesla was. The word “genius” gets tossed around a lot. But Tesla really was a genius.

            Edwin Howard Armstrong, who invented all the important radio circuits of the 20th Century , was also a bonafide genius.

    • SpaceX is paying quite a lot to rent the launch facilities. If they weren’t, those previously decrepit launch pads would be home to nothing but seagulls and rats.

  • The_Wretched

    Anyone know what those light colored cloudy line- arcs are? Some sort of wind detection?

    • Rambie

      I think it’s lens flare

    • Rambie

      SpaceX’s live feed hasn’t started yet, will be interesting to see if they show up there too.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbSwFU6tY1c

    • olandp

      I think they are there to make that photograph interesting to look at for three or four hours. That was taken probably predawn. It is lightly cloudy but sunny 2 1/2 hours north of the cape. It is Florida, so the weather can be wildly different across the street, but the sun is still up statewide.

  • bkmn

    What is the amount of thrust required to get Trump’s ass off his golf cart?

    • safari

      30 big macs and five cans of beans

      • bkmn

        And a ho

  • Proud MOFO Beaner (bkb)

    So trump has got republicans hating our law enforcement agencies and loving Russia. ‘MERICA!!

    https://twitter.com/Spider_canyon/status/960926632725762048

    • Rambie

      He’s so the manchurian candidate

    • Bluto

      What happened to Blue Lives Matter?

      • Proud MOFO Beaner (bkb)

        What trump is doing is making the rule of law (and his own criminal behavior) a politicized issue. He’s a very dangerous person. I feel like I’m in the twilight zone.

    • Uncle Mark

      Is it any wonder? I remember traitorous FOX throughout the previous administration often comparing “mom-jeans-wearing, feckless, ineffective” Obama to that “masterful, powerful, respectful leader” Putin

    • The_Wretched

      Does any one on the right remember Regan’s ‘Evil Empire’?

      This is not less strange than the alt right of today embracing muslims as best buddies in 30 years from now.

    • These would be the same Republicans who were happy when the FBI and law enforcement agencies were investigating Democrats.

      Everything is cravenly partisan to them.

  • Ragnar Lothbrok

    Is the Trump Klan on board ?

  • safari

    My mother forbids me from leaving the atmosphere.

    • Rambie

      We know you’re too much of a rebel to listen to mother. 😉

      • safari

        Midwestern guilt is harsh. So much said by not saying.

        • UrsusArctos 🐻

          The kid of a Hoosier mom here. Yes, the passive can be extremely aggressive with those Midwesterners.

    • Hue-Man

      Most kids are allowed to go swimming…

      • safari

        She doesn’t want me scuba diving either.

        • bkmn

          Who are you, Mike Pence?

        • Bad Tom

          You ARE allowed to bring your own air.

    • Ragnar Lothbrok

      You will never be raptured with that attitude

  • EDinMCO

    O/T: One of our gay Orlando legislators met with Publix and turned them around on PrEP. It can be done!
    http://www.watermarkonline.com/2018/02/02/update-publix-to-begin-covering-hiv-preventative-drug-prep-for-employees/#more-143485

    • bkmn

      Excellent news

  • canoebum

    From the New York Times:
    What will Falcon Heavy carry into space?
    The payload is Mr. Musk’s cherry red Roadster from Tesla, his electric car company.
    Test rockets typically carry a dummy payload, and Mr. Musk said he wanted to do something more fun. There are three cameras on the Roadster. “They should provide some epic views if they work,” Mr. Musk said.

    The man needs to change his name to Kokopelli, the Trickster.

    • Lars Littlefield

      Hmmm . . . we have lots of prepueblan rock art in the swell where our farm sits. Many images of kokopelli to be found etched into the red rock varnish covering the sandstone. We’ve adopted him as our benevolent protector.

      • Bad Tom

        That is so cool.

  • Anastasia Beaverhousen

    Honey, that sure looks like some dildos I’ve “seen.”

  • AtticusP

    If only we could strap Donald Trump to it. That would solve so many problems

    • bkmn

      But SpaceX rockets return to earth.

    • boobert

      Yikes ! What if aliens found him and cloned him .

    • Brendan Denehy

      He did say that it’s the stock market fell over 1000 points the president should be launched into the Sun…

  • DaddyRay
    • David Walker

      First heard this at Philadelphia Folk Festival, although not by this singer. It’s a lovely little folk song, portending the end of the world through pollution and such. And then work was begun on saving the planet. And now we’re watching that work go to hell.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_pBnZaLAAc

  • Brendan Denehy

    Launch time is closer to 2:50pm due to winds in upper atmosphere.

  • safari
    • David Walker

      Yeah. She doesn’t strike me as the type who’d settle for a low-level volunteer coffee boy.

    • Somebody’s attorney needs to have a chat with their client’s fiance about avoiding messing up a plea deal by releasing information to the public…

  • JohnJay

    Might not happen today. Launch has been delayed twice now this morning. Currently set at 2:50 ET. Upper level winds were 20% above allowable. They are waiting to see it they subside enough.

  • safari
    • William

      Those “meetings” might have consisted of watching Trump videos while attending Trump U.

    • UrsusArctos 🐻

      Interesting that the vid is from RT/SputnikNews.

  • John Davenport

    It’s billbear (this is my new account so I can post on Political Wire).

    All right–if you had ANY doubt that the GOP no longer respects the rule of law:

    “BREAKING: PA Republicans To Try and Impeach the State Supreme Court Rather than Uphold its Ruling!”

    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2018/2/5/1739029/-BREAKING-PA-Republicans-To-Try-and-Impeach-the-State-Supreme-Court-Rather-than-Uphold-its-Ruling

    Continue to respect the authority of fascists who intend to subvert the rule of law, and your democracy is FINISHED.

    At the moment, this is the work of one GOP state representative, but an article in a local PA paper quotes him saying he expects his bill of impeachment to move quickly through committee. The leader of the House says GOP leaders in the PA House haven’t discussed the matter yet.

    • PickyPecker
    • The_Wretched

      Did you go to HS in NE Ohio? Our class valedictorian was a John Davenport.

      • John Davenport

        No, I just made this name up, Mr. Dragon, but I was the valedictorian of my high school class, as a matter of fact. 🙂

        • OdieDenCO

          bummer. I had a major crush on the porn star by that name

          • John Davenport

            Oh, now I’ll have to see what he looked like!

    • Boreal

      This is what they wanted to do in Kansas too. Republicans hate the rule of law.

      • Ninja0980

        Unless it’s being used to suppress the rights of others.

      • John Davenport

        It must NOT be borne!

    • Xiao Ai: The Social Gadfly

      Noooooooooo! I’ll miss the Polar! Welcome anew though.

      • John Davenport

        I’m just signed in as JD for the moment because switching back and forth takes time, and I just posted this same info on PW. I wanted to be available if they asked me any questions. (I can’t post there as billbear. That account is banned on PW for “fanatical denunciations of Republicans as fascists” 3 years ago.)

    • William

      So, does Claude know about your alternate persona?
      Asking for a friend.

      • John Davenport

        Yes, after Bill Davis was shadow-banned from PW, I opened this account. At first disqus wouldn’t let me post very much music–kept taking most of it down! So, CJ appeared on PW to post some pieces on John Davenport’s behalf!

        • David Walker

          Ooooooooo! Collusion! Musical collusion! Shame. And thanks.

    • canoebum

      We now have the answer to my question of two days ago: where will they move the goalposts to next?

    • David Walker

      Nice lute you got there, John.

      As for the PA bullshit, they are truly frustrated that they finally got caught and found guilty. I wish that this would come as a shock to me, but I think I’ve been desensitized. Fucking things up is what they do, and if they don’t win whatever bully contest they’re in, they try to up the ante. An earnest Canadian asked in another thread how much more of this pig shit (smells worse)(rural upbringing) we’re going to take. Lots, I suspect.

      I keep thinking of one of the characters in “12 Angry Men.” From Wikipedia:
      “…this trial film tells the story of a jury made up of 12 men as they deliberate the guilt or acquittal of a defendant on the basis of reasonable doubt, forcing the jurors to question their morals and values.” One juror keeps going back and forth depending on who bullies or reasons with him. He comes to mind when I think of our population.

      • John Davenport

        I was looking at the make-up of your legislature, David, and it looks like they have the two-thirds they need in your senate to convict (someone told me the GOP state rep. is claiming the COURT violated the state constitution, which is BULLSHIT, of course).

        If the bastards go through with this SUBVERSION, it could stir up a hornets’ nest NATIONWIDE.

        • David Walker

          Really. God forbid there should be a fair election.

    • Rambie

      Hey Mr bear, just to let you know, the DailyKos link doesn’t work.

      • John Davenport

        Thanks–it will work now.

    • clay

      That committee is the one chaired by Daryl Metcalfe (R, asshole).

    • Proud MOFO Beaner (bkb)

      Their efforts to undermine and politicize the rule of law is working like a charm

      https://twitter.com/voxdotcom/status/960926078578692097

  • Uncle Mark

    Aren’t we scheduled for an additional launch today? That’s the one I REALLY want to watch !! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/784cbc08e74de5bcbc5dea2d111f836e15f6d21f82cdafb0686480277b9276a9.jpg

    • Hunter M

      Do they make a cannon big enough to fit a fucking moron?

      • canoebum

        No problem. Just cut him into several smaller pieces and get loading.

    • Blackfork

      Is ‘Dow Joans’ a drag name? Dow Jones, you idiot…. Wouldn’t it be nice if Cadet Bone Spurs could just read and spell?

  • It Takes a Village, People

    I hope there’s no tsunami warning.

    • Lars Littlefield

      There may be a tiramisu threat after lunch.

      • Lumpy Gaga

        Consider me warned.

  • Lars Littlefield

    While we’re waiting . . . Jeanne Ives. What the patoogeeyumptwa is with Illinois having such an anti gay bitch running for governor. Does she have a remote chance of winning?

  • Boreal
    • I’ll sign up. Just don’t send me to LV-426.

      • Boreal

        Wanted: H̶o̶s̶t̶s̶ Colonists, LV-426, no experience necessary.

  • Boreal

    OT:
    Here’s a shocker for ya. In other news water is wet.
    ‘Junk’ political news shared more widely by Trump backers, study finds

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/white-house/article198556159.html

  • Boreal
    • Proud MOFO Beaner (bkb)

      He won’t far and he knows it. Practice run. Setting himself up for down the line.

  • William

    Meanwhile in Texas, people are fighting construction of high speed rail connecting Dallas and Houston.

    • Tread

      Well, duh. Don’t you know empty land is way more important than progress?

      • William

        Think of the subdivisions they could build on that land.

    • David Walker

      My mind is somewhat blown. It really takes 23:20 with one transfer from Dallas to Houston? I googled Amtrak and was given this: “The service you requested is not available because there is no same day train connection. Please try a different route or different dates.” I guess I understand why nobody would want to get to either Dallas or Houston in less than a day. Actually, I can’t, but then I don’t live in Texas (thank you, Jeebus).

      • William

        It’s perfectly logical. You take Amtrak from Dallas to San Antonio, spend the night on board the train while it is parked in downtown San Antonio. The next morning, you change to the east bound train.

        • pj

          thanks for taking amtrak

        • David Walker

          Now I get it. Thank you, William. Because who wouldn’t want to spend the night sleeping in a train in downtown San Antonio. I would hope that, as an added bonus, passengers are not allowed off the train during its stay.

          • William

            Passengers can get off the train, I don’t know if they can get back on.

            Years ago I looked on the Amtrak website to go from Austin to Houston. The route it showed was via Chicago and Washington DC.

    • BobSF_94117

      Good. TX does not deserve the subsidy. At all.

    • Mikey

      I tuned in JUST in time to watch the boosters do their tandem landings! My hair was standing on end! It was incredible.

  • JCF

    Wind sheer, saying launch is unlikely…

  • Secure

    Please work flawlessly!

  • JIM W

    Trump asks, (But, will it reach North Korea).

  • Lazycrockett

    6 minutes!!!!!!

  • Camera views from inside the fairing:
    https://www.instagram.com/p/Be3m_LNgOYY/

  • Lazycrockett

    50/50 chance its going to blow up on the pad!!! according to Elon.

  • RJ Bone

    Woo! Go baby go!

  • The_Wretched

    It’s off the pad!

  • RJ Bone

    Wait, is a sharp check like that normal?

  • DaddyRay

    How cool is this

  • JCF

    DAMMIT! My local news had fucking commercial on, and missed it! >:-( [After they’d assured us they’d have it live.]

    • William

      You really needed to know about car insurance.

  • Lazycrockett

    So far major success.

  • DaddyRay

    The screen inside the car says “Don’t Panic”

  • Slippy_World
  • Lazycrockett
  • JoeMyGod
  • Lazycrockett

    So If I got this right, the booster rockets will land themselves.

    • safari

      Two on land, one on a barge.

  • RJ Bone
  • Lazycrockett

    Fuck that was perfect.

  • safari
  • RJ Bone

    Two rockets down 🙂

  • Lazycrockett

    Both boosters have successfully landed on their pads.

  • The_Wretched

    Where’s my boom? I was promised a boom.

  • shellback

    The principle is no different than an ancient Chinese sky rocket. I’m waiting for some new technology. But that’s just me.

    • Tomcat

      You watch too much star wars movies.

      • shellback

        I watch NO Star Wars movies.

  • DaddyRay

    Once again sharing history with my fellow Flying Monkeys on JMG
    What a great day

  • RJ Bone
  • Lazycrockett
  • Lazycrockett
  • JCF

    I’ll admit that to me, Elon Musk has (like most billionaires), a bit of backpfeifengesicht.

    But he really pulled this off today. Congratulations.

  • Still no word on whether the core booster landed… Fingers crossed.

  • Cuberly Deux

    Damnit! I missed all the fun!

  • Card
  • clay

    Y’all remember “Rocket Man” who scammed the flat earthers for enough money to launch his anti-Feds rocket? Last Saturday was the day!
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2018/02/06/a-flat-earther-finally-tried-to-fly-away-his-rocket-didnt-even-ignite/?utm_term=.8078d4ad82b8

    • DaddyRay

      “His rocket didn’t even ignite.”

      That is some kind of metaphor

      • Treant

        I’ve had that problem.

        Hey, I was tired. It can happen to anybody. I was fine later.

  • BeaverTales

    I thought Falcon Heavy was a gay porn outfit for chub chasers?

    • clay

      (or kink for people into hairless preppy guys)

      • BeaverTales

        Zak Spears was an exception, he was gloriously hairy…but a bit overdone on the hair gel, makeup and highlights for my taste….he looks much more real these days

  • RJ Bone
    • Cuberly Deux

      That was….wow….

      • RJ Bone

        I know, right? And spacing the Tesla was a nice touch 😉

        • Dreaming Vertebrate

          Spacing the Tesla was sacrilege!!

          • RJ Bone

            Apparently it’s okay if the company owner does it.. ?

            Got attention though. And it’ll be a photo moment, I think. Right next to synchronized booster landing.

          • Lars Littlefield

            Which would you rather space aliens encounter as a measure of our civilization: a Tesla or a Buick?

  • HoneyBoySmith

    I get choked up whenever I see something like this.

    And, Life on Mars? David Bowie’s fucking Life on Mars? Just beautiful.

    • m_lp_ql_m

      For some weird reason, I’ve always preferred Barbara Streisand’s version.

  • another_steve

    I read very slowly and get to only a small number of comments on this wonderful wonderful blog.

    Has anyone noted how phallic that thing is?

    • The_Wretched

      That’s not an accident. Reality finds phallic shapes are good for penetration.

      • another_steve

        Nature, evolution, is the ultimate practical architect.

        If the male penis were shaped like a shovel, the human species would cease to exist.

        • Dreaming Vertebrate

          Hmm, … I’ve heard about these shovel-ready jobs.

          • another_steve

            ^^ Slut.

    • Treant

      Even the testicles are penises.

  • Ragnar Lothbrok
    • Dreaming Vertebrate

      That is really awesome!

    • DaddyRay

      Not only saving millions of dollars but also being green and not creating all of the waste

      • m_lp_ql_m

        So when will they start applying this technology to all the plastic packaging that’s ending up in the Pacific?

        • Dreaming Vertebrate

          If they want to make an impact on all the garbage and pollution, they should just strap Trump to the next Falcon Heavy and launch it into the sun.

          • m_lp_ql_m

            Never work. Too much weight. The Sun would be transformed into a black hole.

      • The_Wretched

        Well, so far as it’s green to use that much propellant for anything. Same mass on rails would go much farther.

    • JCF

      “… with no human control.”

      I welcome our rocket overlords. ;-/

  • Leo
    • Lars Littlefield

      That speaks volumes.

  • Leo
    • boobert

      Can you imagine trying to explain anything to that idiot ? “See spot run, run spot run ! “

  • jeffg166

    One wonders how long this would have taken if private industry had been the ones had to developed and pay for all the technology needed to do this.

    • Nothing happens in a vacuum. One could ask the same thing about whether the gov’t would be this far along if not for the research and manufacturing assistance of companies like Northrup-Grumman, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin.

      In fact, it was Northrup-Grumman who took on what was said to be the impossible job of building a lunar lander to the crazy-tight specifications NASA allowed. They couldn’t even flight-test the thing because it was too fragile for use in Earth’s atmosphere, and Buzz Aldrin had to depend on flight simulators for training. (He crashed. A LOT.)

      Musk and SpaceX have done the one thing all the other private space companies usually failed to do: Make his operation commercial from the start, launching satellites rather than the pimpled asses of billionaires.

      Point of fact, SpaceX originally wanted to use off-the-shelf rocket engines. The US gov’t wouldn’t let him. He even tried to buy Russian engines. No dice there. So he had his engineers do the impossible: Design and build their own engine. Hence the Merlin, which is actually more advanced in capability and function than any other currently made.

      Same thing with the Dragon capsule. SpaceX built that on their own, too.

      Then it was said to be impossible to land rocket boosters. SpaceX did that, after a good many failures because they were willing to fail, so they could learn and advance.

      And the Falcon Heavy would never have happened either, because the idea of fuel cross-feeds like this on rockets like this was deemed impossible as well.

      Now, SpaceX will continue to take on both commercial and gov’t contracts to launch payloads.

      • sfbob

        My dad went to work for what was then called Grumman Aircraft in 1956. He was an engineer, albeit without a college degree. He worked on military aircraft for a number of years. When the opportunity to join the lunar lander project came he jumped at it because of course it was an amazing opportunity but also because it was NOT a weapon. He worked for Grumman for 31 years; the lunar lander was the only project he was actually proud of having worked on. As the kid of an employee who was working on the lunar lander when I was about 16 I was able to take a tour of the assembly room…one the most amazing experiences of my life to that point.

        • That is way, way, way cool. Congrats on your dad, and on being able to see that assembly room.

      • -M-

        They actually dropped the cross feeds. At least for now, the center stage just throttles back some between launch and booster separation.

        • Didn’t know that. Thanks. I thought those lines down the outside of the side boosters were feeds. Oh well.

  • Ninja0980

    Liftoff!

  • Leo
  • another_steve

    I’m enjoying JMG today.

    I’m almost forgetting that Donald Trump is President of the United States.

  • Jefe5084

    Dang that guy has a lot of money. The payload is a Tesla with a dummy in a space suit in the driver’s seat. Unfortunately it isn’t Trumpenheimer.

    • William

      Is this so the astronauts on the space station can run to the store for beer and smokes?

    • It was a test flight. They weren’t going to send anything important or critical. From the beginning, it was either going to be an empty rocket or some form of dummy payload.

      Elon decided to make the dummy payload cool as hell.

      • Jefe5084

        I’m just saying. He had a dummy that needed to go. But FAIL.

        • BS. We need Trump-free moments. Sick of that orange balding motherfucker intruding his rotund self into everything that happens now.

  • rednekokie

    I watched the successful launch. Magnificent!!

    • sfbob

      I sat in front of my computer crying. Reminded me of when I was a kid. I was 10 years old when Alan Shepard became the first American in space. Right through the early and mid-1960s whenever there was a manned space mission launch us kids would be sent to the school auditorium to watch it on a standard 20-inch television, on a stand, with rabbit ears, on the auditorium stage, courtesy of the school AV department. Kids were remarkably well-behaved while we were watching; we were so in awe.

      • I was younger (six at the time), but I remember that day in 1969 when my father sat me and my brother down in front of the TV and said, “Pay close attention. This is history you’re watching right now. There will never be another first quite like this one.”

        Can’t speak for my brother, but I was riveted.

        • And yes, despite our ages, we were dragged out of bed when at nearly 11pm EDT, we got to watch Armstrong step onto the moon.

          • sfbob

            I remember watching it. I was just out of my freshman year in college, visiting a school friend in Western PA. I strangely don’t recall the actual broadcast; I just remember watching a black-and-white television in someone’s non-air-conditioned living room and being transfixed. While some of my friends (it was a group visit) were claiming they really didn’t care. My dad was proud that day, and I was proud of his contribution which was not monumental but important nonetheless. During my tour of the “Clean Room” at Grumman Aerospace he pointed out a box with pipes going in and out; I think it had something to do with fuel. That was what he worked on.

            One of the things that is so monumental about any space flight at all is that it takes thousands of people working thousands of hours to create something that will perform thousands of operations, most of them autonomously, and somehow nothing goes wrong that could have resulted in a disaster. The shots of the people at the Space Flight Center celebrating…all I can say is that they have every right to celebrate. It’s an incredible achievement.

          • Ann Kah

            It poured that day. People were glued to the tv, so it was a real surprise when someone noticed that the parking lot was full of water.

        • Ann Kah

          I remember listening, rapt, as the radio played the Sputnik beep beep beep. The schedules were publicized so people could go outside and watch it in transit.

      • rednekokie

        It’s really a shame that these feelings of awe, anticipation, along with the thrilling idea of actually being in space, are not as enthusiastically shared by modern day youngsters.
        I think, perhaps, it may be because they haven’t lived through the days of the model T, and other vehicles up to the modern day.
        It is all too easy for them – I walked to school as a youngster — school buses were for kids in the country. Didn’t have a TV until after I was graduated from high school, and far away from home.
        Now, with cell phones, instant everything, etc., the importance of such a flight is so foreign to them. That’s sad — for them.

      • Charlie 2001

        The government spent a great deal of money to send astronauts to the moon. Trump might think that our space program was one of the thinks that made America great. But with the amount of money given to the government now this wouldn’t be possible.

  • Lars Littlefield

    I wonder if it uses O rings.

    • Friday’s_cat

      I wonder how many get that reference.

      • Not many, I’m sure.

        That one setback…well set back the entire space program by a decade. All because NASA got sloppy and let PR drive launches rather than safety.

      • Lars Littlefield

        Exactly.

  • Friday’s_cat

    Space X puts the military industrial contractors feeding off the government teat to shame since they couldn’t hit Uncle Sugar up for cost overruns.

  • netxtown

    That was one of the most beautiful and spectacular accomplishments I’ve ever seen. What an incredible feat – and on American shores!

    Hang on Enterprise. We’re coming!

  • JohnJay

    Here’s the car and starman still on the top of the 2nd stage… live view. Currently going up to 7000 km. Another burn of the 2nd stage should bring it out to Mars’ orbit (but Mars won’t be there. Never want to inadvertently crash and contaminate). The stage is in a slow roll (for even heating) so you’ll sea the earth come into and out of the picture. Unlike low earth orbit… note how the earth is starting to look like a globe.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBr2kKAHN6M

    • Friday’s_cat

      Tesla, fastest car off Earth. Bite me Ferrari

    • David L. Caster

      This is oddly exhilarating and inspiring.

  • TheManicMechanic

    Everything about this test launch, and everything involved in it, from the beginning, is the perfect demonstration of everything that defines my very being. If you want to sum up everything I wanted to do in my life, this is it. As a kid, I was a huge science geek, and was relentlessly bullied for it. I loved everything about aerospace, I would watch every rocket launch, the moon landings made me think anything was possible, I loved technology. I worked in aerospace for over 30 years. I like to think some of my work went into things like this. This country is seriously fucked these days, the COMPLETE opposite from what I had dreamed of over 50 years ago. But I can still sit with giddy anticipation and watch those 50 year old dreams happen. This is what I’m all about. Seeing this rocket test pulled off so well made my 2018. That perfect simultaneous booster landing made me happy cry. But best of all, sending a car into orbit is the exact fucking thing I would’ve done. I never met Elon Musk, but I bet if we had a few minutes to talk, we’d have a lot in common. Though a little late, this is like the most awesome birthday gift in the whole solar system.