Falcon Heavy rockets into space

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And Musk's Roadster became the fastest vehicle ever, hurtling off the planet and zooming away on a route that will now take it all the way to the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

Before dashing off to the red planet, Mr Musk said he would want to try out this spaceship in orbit around Earth - possibly in three to four years with the supersize rocket - and then the moon. While it is a bit dramatic, and the auto is totally useless in space, it is the personal flair we have come to know from Musk as he continues to drive mankind into the stars.

But this test flight wasn't just about jetting something big and expensive into space, it was also about bringing things back down to earth. At a press conference yesterday, he prepared us all for the inevitable shutdown of the most strangely fascinating live stream since Puddle Watch.

Before that point in the flight, Musk said the sight of the Falcon Heavy launching and his vehicle floating several thousand miles above Earth was "surreal". "You can tell it's real because it looks so fake, honestly", Musk said Tuesday night.

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In the near term, this should enable some cheaper military launches, and might also allow Nasa to conduct more frequent research missions into deep space.

China should push ahead with development of its own heavy-lift rocket so that it can surpass SpaceX's Falcon Heavy, a Chinese rocket scientist said on Thursday.

Last month, Tesla announced a new compensation structure that requires Musk to remain at the company for the next 10 years if he is to maximize his earnings.

Hawthorne, California-based SpaceX already has paying customers committed to flying with Falcon Heavy, including commercial satellite operators Arabsat, Inmarsat and Viasat, according to its launch manifest.

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A well-dressed mannequin, appropriately named Starman, captained the ship for this test launch, due to the historically high failure rate of a rocket's maiden voyage (here's the footage of what he's up to now). While the launch showcased company's ability to carry heavy payloads much beyond the lower earth orbit, the fact that it comes with reusable boosters drastically decreases the expense.

The Long March 9 is meant to be used for a manned lunar landing by 2030, as well as deep space exploration missions.

"Third burn successful", Musk reported on Twitter.

"SpaceX designs manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft". In a statement, it said that the company will be deriving huge data from the demonstration.

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SpaceX does not, however, plan to certify the Falcon Heavy to fly humans.

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