Elon Musk on how Falcon Heavy will change space travel

SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket took off from Cape Canaveral, Florida yesterday carrying its first payload — a red Tesla roadster — into orbit. Loren Grush spoke to CEO Elon Musk about the launch and what this means for the future of space travel, as well as Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye. The Falcon Heavy now holds the title for the world’s most powerful rocket, and its launch marks the first time a vehicle this massive has ever been sent up by a commercial company.


[Music] we’ve come to see the launch of SpaceX’s next big rocket the Falcon Heavy this vehicle can create more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff and is capable of putting around a hundred and forty thousand pounds into lower Earth orbit that’s more than twice the weight that any other rocket currently on the market can carry so right now the Falcon Heavy holds the title for the most powerful rocket in the world I’m very excited about this launch because I think this is it’s gonna really show that we can do giant Rockets gain most space organizations government or commercial and set their sights too low they’ve really gotten built relatively small rockets and Falcon Heavy is the first time that there’s there’s something that’s arguably even in the super heavy class or somewhere between a heavy and super heavy and showing that you can launch a giant rocket and and have it be commercially viable carry satellites potentially carry people Falcon heavies capable of actually taking a dragon mission taking people around the moon by the way I’m not yet we’re sorta baiting weather to do that on Falcon Heavy or bf are all sort of depend on how well the VFR developments going as to whether we focused on VFR for deep space here in flight or whether we do that on Falcon Heavy what do you see has been the biggest challenge for for making this rocket fly the biggest challenge of getting close pad has been that we had to completely redesign the server core so the the load going through the center core is much greater than would only go through a falcon 9 rocket each of the side boosters is putting in half million pounds of thrust into the center core so you have an incremental million pounds of force going through that center core which means we had to really redesign almost the entire stage all the way through the interstage that had to be redesigned to strengthen okay one more question but I want to know what you’re most excited when you’ve watched this rocket fly tomorrow I’ll be really proud of the SpaceX team for having accomplished this incredible task and and hopefully we inspire the public to get excited about space game but it’s not just the public getting excited about the Falcon Heavy some customers like the Planetary Society are planning on using Falcon Heavy for their next flights hoping that a successful test launch will spell success for their missions as well we are tied to SpaceX we wish us the best today so the guy you know SpaceX is really visionary but it really is a fantastic idea you Rockets should be like airplanes where you you don’t throw them away use them and then reuse them and so it’s it’s a it’s visionary if everything goes well today how will it feel to see that Falcon Heavy great no so you know we flew the first light sail almost two years ago and it’s just it’s a thrill we’re very excited about it and the idea is to democratize space to lower the cost of getting to many destinations in our solar system and the reason you do this everybody the reason the society does this there are two questions Lauren that we have all asked where did we come from where did we come out we all get here where did we come from and are we alone in the universe and if you want to answer those two questions you have to explore space [Music] we’re finally here at NASA’s press site after all of the hype for so many years of waiting and it is intense I’ve been to a couple of launches here before but I’ve never seen it this packed just getting in here today there was a huge traffic jam and the vibe here everybody was super anxious we’re really ready to see this thing get off the ground [Music] originally the launch was set for 1:30 p.m. Eastern then it got pushed back to 2 then to 20 then to 50 it turned out upper level winds in the area were too high for flight and SpaceX was trying to wait for them to die down people started worrying that they’d have to come back the next day so we’ve all been on edge today SpaceX kept pushing the launch time back and back and back and now we have a new team minus 0 which is 3:45 p.m. but our lunch window only lasts until 4 p.m. however the rocket is loaded with propellant so I think it might actually go up today cynical relock still complete Lauren has done its time x88 point 2 degrees I never guess eyelids are complete have you guys configured translate a minus 15 what’s retro nine eight seven six [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Music] [Music] we go I’m gonna keep rolling [Music] [Applause] [Laughter] [Music] [Music]

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