Updated Feb 6, 2018 - Science

SpaceX launch a success

Elon Musk's roadster, with a spacesuit passenger, will remain in orbit around the sun for the foreseeable future.

Elon Musk's roadster was sent into space, complete with spacesuit passenger. (Credit: SpaceX, Screenshot: Axios)

The FalconHeavy launch was a success. Both boosters landed (perfectly in sync). The core appeared to run out of igniter on 2/3 engines, and hit the water at 300mph (stay tuned for possible video of the crash). Shrapnel from the crash seems to have damaged the droneship.

  • What's next: The final payload will deploy Musk's cherry-red Tesla roadster into a highly elliptical orbit around the sun. As of 7:00 PM, it was making its way through the Van Allen radiation belts, and in just a few hours will begin the final burn towards Mars.
  • Why it matters: It's a big step towards affordable, airplane-style space commerce. The FalconHeavy is less expensive than comparable rockets and can carry twice the weight of other rockets.

Note: This story has been updated with additional information about the core booster. More will be added as the payload is deployed into orbit.

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