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3-2-1 BLAST OFF!!

Rishi Doreswamy, Writer, Photographer

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3-2-1…. BLAST  OFF!!! After several years a private company rather than NASA finally launched a rocket more powerful than the Saturn V into space. The rocket is called the Falcon Heavy, which was built by workers at SpaceX.  The company is owned and founded by Elon Musk. The launch of this turbocharged rocket marks an important landmark in space history. 

Musk thinks that there will be people living on both Earth and Mars in the future. He and other companies such as Moon Express and Planetary Resources have been hoping to start a business in providing regular transportation to the moon and back.

The countdown proceeded smoothly although there were a few delays from high winds.  The rocket took off without any of the malfunctions that usually befall other launches of new rockets such as the Challenger. “The Heavy roared to life, a plume of smoke and steam shooting sideways from the launchpad.”Fifteen seconds later, there was a huge roar that carried over the excited spectators.  Three minutes later, the boosters dropped off from the space shuttle back into the water.  However, there was one flaw: the center booster fell into the Atlantic Ocean rather than on a floating pad.  

Once the rocket reached orbit, it sent back a video of a spacesuit-wearing mannequin driving a Tesla car that was sent along on the launch. The video consists of the hand on the steering wheel. On the dashboard, the words “Don’t Panic” were visible, a shoutout to Douglas Adam’s book “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”

When interviewed about this particular space launch, most students said that they did not know about it beforehand. Trevor Peck said that he watched the launch while eating breakfast but did not know about it prior to that moment. He thought that the mannequin and the sports car was quite impressive, but he liked the moment where the two rockets landed more.  

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3-2-1 BLAST OFF!!