Feb. 6, 2018, spectators gathered to watch the world’s most powerful rocket launch into space at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. SpaceX, the company founded and ran by entrepreneur Elon Musk, created the Falcon Heavy which was designed to carry humans into space and, “Restores the possibility of flying missions with a crew to the Moon or Mars,” according to SpaceX.
The launch attracted the attention of many, including senior Nick Bisesi. He flew out to Florida to witness the rocket launch.
“Going to see the Falcon Heavy Launch was a phenomenal experience,” Bisesi said. “The sheer power and incredible technology still have me awestruck”.
This particular rocket was a pivotal achievement in space flight since it was launched into space by a private company rather than NASA, a government ran space agency. The Falcon Heavy was an upgraded version of Falcon 9, a SpaceX rocket which carried cargo from Earth to space for years. However, the Falcon Heavy carried a peculiar haul; Elon Musk’s red Roadster, an electric sports car made by his other company, Tesla. Inside was a mannequin dressed in a SpaceX spacesuit with the intention to orbit the Sun.
One notable aspect of the rocket was its boosters. The Falcon Heavy was designed to be completely reusable. The core and side boosters had the capability to land safely back on earth after take-off.
“The most interesting part of the launch had to be about a minute after liftoff,” Bisesi said. “The two side boosters came back down and landed upright on the landing pads.”
The Falcon Heavy launch is another step towards space exploration and colonization. SpaceX works to make colonization on Mars an attainable goal. Reusability has helped them reach that intention.
“From a research standpoint, space exploration has already proved to be useful. It’s the reason we have technology like cell phones and how we know so much about our atmosphere and climate change,” Bisesi said. “Colonizing Mars would be huge for humanity because it would make our species multi-planetary which would prolong our existence and lessen the chance of extinction.” Photo contributed by Nick Bisesi.