SpaceX launch its highly anticipated rocket Falcon Heavy today.
SpaceX monster rocket, the Falcon Heavy, was launched today from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida. The highly anticipated test flight was delayed due to "upper level wind shear," SpaceX mentioned on its Twitter handle.
Loaded with Musk's own red Tesla roadster, a mannequin in a spacesuit, and a playlist consisting of David Bowie's "Space Oddity," the monster rocket's maiden voyage has captured the world's imagination.
Musk himself has put the odds of success or failure at no better than 50-50. "It is guaranteed to be exciting, one way or another," the quirky 46-year-old South African-born space visionary and wealthy businessman told reporters on the eve of the launch, news agency AFP reported.
Here are the highlights of the Falcon Heavy test launch:
Hours after successful launch, Elon Musk shared the latest update on Twitter.
Donald Trump also took to Twitter after the Falcon Heavy launch and said the achievement "continues to show American ingenuity at its best!"
British entrepreneur Richard Branson tweeted after the Falcon Heavy launch.
On its Twitter handle, SpaceX started a livestream of Starman, the dummy in the Tesla Roadster towards Mars.
NASA posted a congratulatory message for the SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch.
SpaceX's webcast showed Musk's Tesla roadster soaring into space, as David Bowie's "Space Oddity" played in the background -- with the words "DON'T PANIC" visible on the dashboard, in an apparent nod to the science fiction series the "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy."
If the Roadster does survive, the car would enter an Earth-Mars orbit around the Sun, on a journey that could last a billion years, SpaceX said.
The car was also outfitted with three cameras and a high-data storage unit containing Isaac Asimov's science fiction books series, the Foundation Trilogy.
Giving the latest update, Elon Musk tweeted, "Upper stage restart nominal, apogee raised to 7000 km. Will spend 5 hours getting zapped in Van Allen belts & then attempt final burn for Mars."
The Tesla Roadster is supposed to be sent into a virtually indefinite solar orbit, on a path taking it as far from Earth as Mars, Reuters reported. Adding to the whimsy, SpaceX has planted a space-suited mannequin in the driver's seat of the convertible.
Whether the car makes it onto its planned trajectory will not become clear for several more hours, SpaceX said.
If the demonstration flight succeeds, Falcon Heavy will rank as the world's most powerful existing rocket, with more lift capacity than any U.S. space vehicle since the era of NASA's Saturn 5 rockets that took astronauts to the moon some 45 years ago, Reuters reported.
The SpaceX jumbo rocket built to be the world's most powerful launch vehicle was launched from the same site used by NASA's towering Saturn 5 rockets to carry Apollo missions to the moon more than 40 years ago, news agency Reuters reported.
Falcon Heavy is carrying CEO Elon Musk's cherry red Tesla roadster to an orbit near Mars.
"Screams and cheers erupted at Cape Canaveral, Florida as the massive rocket fired its 27 engines and rumbled into the blue sky over the same NASA launchpad that served as a base for the US missions to Moon four decades ago," news agency AFP reported.
Minutes after the launch, SpaceX posted updates on the microblogging site. "Center core and side cores entry burns complete," it said.
SpaceX tweeted a picture of the lift off.
SpaceX's Falcon Heavy lifted off today at around 2.15 am IST.
SpaceX Falcon Heavy is ready for launch.
Elon Musk earlier posted a video to explain how the rocket will send a car to Mars.
When Falcon Heavy lifts off, it will be the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two, with the ability to lift into orbit nearly 64 metric tons (141,000 lb) - a mass greater than a 737 jetliner loaded with passengers, crew, luggage and fuel, according to SpaceX's official website.
"Falcon Heavy's first stage is composed of three Falcon 9 nine-engine cores whose 27 Merlin engines together generate more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff, equal to approximately eighteen 747 aircraft. Only the Saturn V moon rocket, last flown in 1973, delivered more payload to orbit," the website further mentions.
Liquid oxygen loading has started for SpaceX Falcon Heavy, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex tweeted.
Following a delay, the fueling process began for Falcon Heavy.