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Boeing Takes a Shot at SpaceX, Says Falcon Heavy Doesn't Measure Up With the SLS Rocket

Boeing Takes a Shot at SpaceX, Says Falcon Heavy Doesn’t Measure Up With the SLS Rocket

First one to Mars wins!

Last February, SpaceX successfully tested its new Falcon Heavy rocket booster by launching a first-gen Tesla Roadster into the great starry beyond. The mission prompted a huge outpouring of media attention and excitement, but apparently, Boeing wasn’t impressed.

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Video of the Day: SpaceX Orbital Rocket Booster Landing Fails Compilation

Video of the Day: SpaceX Orbital Rocket Booster Landing Fails Compilation

That’ll buff out…

In case you missed it, SpaceX (Elon Musk’s extra-curricular after-school space program) successfully put a first-generation Tesla Roadster into space last February, proving it’s new Falcon Heavy rocket had what it took to deliver its payload into the great beyond. Impressive stuff, no doubt about it. But, as you might expect, SpaceX hit a few bumps on the road to the successful launch of the Falcon Heavy, and the the results of those bumps are spectacular, to say the least.

One of the most impressive things about the SpaceX program is its reusable rocket system, which includes self-landing boosters that actually manage to find themselves back on terra firma in an upright position. Making such a feat possible was a series of incidents SpaceX has classified as “rapid unscheduled disassembly” events, several of which are highlighted in the above two-minute video.

Of course, it bears mentioning that the Falcon Heavy still needs some work. You see, the core rocket had a bit of an incident after its trip into space, missing the recovery drone ship by about 300 feet and making contact with the Atlantic Ocean at about 300 mph, subsequently “[showering] the deck with shrapnel,” according to Musk.

But hey, no one ever said rocket science was easy, and until the systems are perfected, we can expect entertaining videos like these showcasing the accumulation of some very expensive piles of smoldering rubble.

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SpaceX to Launch Prototype Internet Satellites; Tesla to Get Heaven-based Uplink

SpaceX to Launch Prototype Internet Satellites; Tesla to Get Heaven-based Uplink

Chalk this one up to another one of Musk’s ideas

There’s no end in sight to Elon Musk’s ambitions. A week after the successful launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket, Musk’s SpaceX company is preparing for another trip to space. No, it’s not sending another Tesla Roadster to space. Instead, it’s sending the first two prototypes of its demonstration Starlink satellites to the Earth’s orbit. The long-term goal of these satellites is to provide low-cost Internet access around the world, a plan that Musk has been working on over the past few years.

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Flight of Fancy: German Company Wants to Send its SUVs to Outer Space

Flight of Fancy: German Company Wants to Send its SUVs to Outer Space

It’s probably sliding into Elon Musk’s DMs right now

I blame you, Elon Musk. See, this is what happens when you successfully achieve something nobody thought you could do. The launch of Falcon Heavy into space proved that you could build a lighter and more fuel-efficient low-cost space shuttle without having to drain taxpayer’s money in the process. But, the success of Falcon Heavy has opened the doors for other companies to come out of the woodwork with their own out-of-this-world ideas. Take Partisan Motors, for example. The German startup that introduced us to the Partisan One last October is looking for a collaboration with Musk and his company, SpaceX, to bring its SUVs to the last frontier.

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Falcon Heavy Launch Sends Tesla Roadster And Starman Into The Great Beyond, But Now What?

Falcon Heavy Launch Sends Tesla Roadster And Starman Into The Great Beyond, But Now What?

Welcome to the second Space Age

Earlier this week, SpaceX lit the fuse on its biggest, baddest rocket to date. Dubbed the Falcon Heavy, the test flight was, more or less, a success. But the question remains – where do we go from here? Read on for a full rundown on what happened with the launch, as well as what to expect next.

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SpaceX Falcon Heavy Launch A Success; Tesla Roadster And Starman Begin Their Journey

SpaceX Falcon Heavy Launch A Success; Tesla Roadster And Starman Begin Their Journey

Here I am, floating ’round my tin can...

Earlier this afternoon, as a multitude of anxious space exploration fans watched with bated breath, the Falcon Heavy rocket lifted off from the NASA Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, Florida. With all 27 individual Merlin engines lit, the trio of boosters providing more than 5 million pounds of thrust, the Falcon Heavy became the world’s most powerful rocket currently in service, officially launching us into a second Space Age.

Once the first stage was complete, the spent rockets were jettisoned and aimed back at Earth. Moments later, the two side boosters successfully touched down simultaneously on the ground in Florida. The third booster was supposed to land on a drone ship out in the Atlantic, but as it approached, the camera feed cut out due to the extreme vibrations. It’s not yet known if it landed successfully or not, but it’s believed to have crashed into the ocean.

The reusable rockets were designed to make space flight less expensive in the long run. Each Falcon Heavy launch is expected cost around $90 million, while similar flights from government organizations like NASA could cost upwards of $1 billion.

Most importantly though, the Falcon Heavy successfully delivered its payload into orbit. Strapped to the tip of the Falcon Heavy was a first-generation Tesla Roadster (painted in red, or course), complete with “Starman” strapped in at the wheel (Starman being a dummy wearing the SpaceX spacesuit). On the Roadster’s primary infotainment screen were the words “Don’t Panic!”, a reference to Douglas Adam’s classic novel “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”

The goal is to get the Roadster and its Starman passenger into an orbit around the sun that’ll take it by Mars, with the intention being to eventually launch a manned mission to the Red Planet. This successful test launch is the first big step towards that goal. But before it slingshots through the solar system, the Roadster will need to pass through the radiation-filled Van Allen belts, after which there will be a final burn to send Starman towards our planetary neighbor.

Since the launch, social media has been filled with breathtaking imagery, including several shots taken live from the space-traveling drop-top. Make sure to check out the live feed of Starman on YouTube.

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Watch SpaceX Launch Falcon Heavy, With Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster on Board, Live Right Here

Watch SpaceX Launch Falcon Heavy, With Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster on Board, Live Right Here

The world’s most powerful rocket in operation is about to make its maiden voyage into the heavens. It’s been a long ride with crazy tweets from Elon Musk himself, but sure enough, his very own Tesla Roadster — with Starman at the helm — is the primary payload. And, you better believe Space Oddity will be playing at full blast on repeat for the entire trip.

There’s no telling what will happen. Musk himself has said that it will either be "an exciting success or an exciting failure." Of course, we’re hoping for the former as there’s just something about a Tesla Roadster floating around the solar system that tickles our manhood a little bit. For now, there’s been a small delay thanks to some atmospheric winds, but the launch is scheduled to take place at 3:45 pm EST should everything continue to pan out. For now, we’ll be watching, and you should too!

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Elon Musk is Launching His 2008 Tesla Roadster into Space Today

Elon Musk is Launching His 2008 Tesla Roadster into Space Today

SpaceX’s first launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket puts the Tesla in Mars orbit

What does a CEO of both an automaker and a rocketmaker do to cross-promote? Why launch a sports car into space. That’s exactly what Elon Musk is doing with his personal 2008 Tesla Roadster during today’s first flight of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket.

The rocket will launch from the Kennedy Space Center on Tuesday, February 6 with its flight computer programmed for Mars. “[It’s a] red car for a red planet,” Musk tweeted back in December. The module atop the Falcon Heavy will then enter a hyperbolic orbit between Mars and the Sun, which it could theoretically maintain for a billion years. Better yet, the car’s radio will be playing Zarathustra, the theme song from 2001: A Space Odyssey. A mannequin affectionately named “Starman” will also be behind the wheel a wearing a SpaceX spacesuit.

The Falcon Heavy rocket is a huge milestone for SpaceX. While the Tesla Roadster is more of a silly payload, this trial launch will prove SpaceX has its math right. The Falcon Heavy is currently the largest and most powerful rocket in operation and is second only to NASA’s mighty Saturn V rocket used during the Apollo series in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The Falcon Heavy is said to have a payload capacity of 70 tons – roughly 2.6 times that of NASA’s shuttle orbiter.

Like SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, the Falcon Heavy’s main stage will launch its payload toward space before separating and landing itself back on earth. The second stage will continue to run as it escapes earth’s atmosphere and gravitational pull. Of course, Musk isn’t planning to send a fleet of Tesla vehicles into space, but rather has plans for manned missions to the Moon and then onto Mars.

The launch is scheduled to happen between 1:30 and 4:30 pm EST from Kennedy’s Launch Complex 39A, the same one used for Apollo and Shuttle launches.

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Elon Musk Demonstrates Falcon Heavy Launch With Tesla Roadster And Starman Payload

Elon Musk Demonstrates Falcon Heavy Launch With Tesla Roadster And Starman Payload

An animation of the upstart’s most ambitious mission to date

We here at TopSpeed are getting stoked for the launch of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket tomorrow, and this latest animation is just fanning the flames. The Falcon Heavy is scheduled to blast off at 1:30 EST from the NASA Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, Florida. Powered by 27 individual Merlin first-stage rockets doling out a combined 5 million pounds of thrust, the Falcon Heavy will be carrying a payload consisting of a first-gen Tesla Roadster, plus “Starman,” a dummy wearing the SpaceX spacesuit, in the driver’s seat.

At about 3-and-a-half minutes in length, the video is an animation that walks us through each stage of the mission, from initial takeoff, to the booster recovery, to the final sendoff for the payload, all of which is set to the audio backdrop of David Bowie’s “Life On Mars?”. All very fitting, considering the endgame is a manned mission to the Red Planet some time in the future. The Roadster will be set on a heliocentric orbit that’ll take it between the Earth and Mars, possibly laying the groundwork for a future Martian colony supply line. While typically these sorts of test missions involve simple weights, the addition of a red sports drop-top manned by a dummy adds a certain artistic quality to it, don’t you think?

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SpaceX Launches Falcon Heavy Tomorrow With Starman At The Helm Of Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster

SpaceX Launches Falcon Heavy Tomorrow With Starman At The Helm Of Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster

And you better believe Bowie’s “Space Oddity” will be playing on repeat

The final countdown is now imminent. Following a successful static test, SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy is now cleared for the real thing, with liftoff scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. The payload will include a deep-red first-gen Tesla Roadster with “Starman” strapped into the driver’s seat.

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Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster Heads to Space Aboard Falcon Heavy on February 6th

Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster Heads to Space Aboard Falcon Heavy on February 6th

A successful launch could shift America’s future policy on space exploration

Mark your calendars, people. February 6 is going to be a historic day for Elon Musk and SpaceX. After months of hype and speculation, SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket space ship will finally make its maiden voyage to space. The launch is historic for so many reasons. It once again puts Musk in the spotlight as the real-life equivalent of Tony Stark, a man whose ego is as big as his goals in life. It so happens that one of Musk’s goals is to build the biggest operational rocket in human history at a third of the cost of more contemporary spaceships. As long as Falcon Heavy’s launch happens without a glitch, Musk will once again be on top of the world, bested only by his Cherry Red Tesla Roadster that’s joining Falcon Heavy in its launch to space.

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Fresh Images: SpaceX Falcon Heavy Looks Like It's Ready To Go

Fresh Images: SpaceX Falcon Heavy Looks Like It’s Ready To Go

It’s (almost) the final countdown

SpaceX, Elon Musk’s after-hours hobby when he isn’t busy making electric cars, just puts its new Falcon Heavy rocket on the launchpad, marking the occasion with a series of images and videos on social media. SpaceX hopes to the light the candle some time later this month.

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Elon Musk Really Is Using SpaceX's Falcon Heavy to Launch a Tesla Roadster into Space!

Elon Musk Really Is Using SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy to Launch a Tesla Roadster into Space!

Because, well, Elon Musk - that’s why

Just a month ago, I told you Musk just might load up his Cherry-Red Tesla Roadster and send it to Mars. Well, as it turns out, the man behind SpaceX and Tesla, among other companies, wasn’t playing around as he has made an Instagram post showing Falcon Heavy just about ready to go, followed by another post that depicts – and I kid you not – his very own Cherry-Red Tesla Roadster in payload-prep for its maiden voyage off this spinning rock we call Earth. Now, even though the rocket probably won’t fly until after the turn of the year, with January 2018 being the most likely date, it’s still breaking a number of records. First, it’ll be the most powerful operational rocket in the world, and two, it’ll be the first time a rocket has carried a production car into space. Oh boy, what a time to be alive.

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Virgin Hyperloop One Clocks Record 240 MPH In Latest Round of Testing

Virgin Hyperloop One Clocks Record 240 MPH In Latest Round of Testing

Are we closer than ever to seeing the Hyperloop One become a real thing?

There’s been a lot of movement around Elon Musk’s Hyperloop One project, and almost all of it points to the technology becoming a real thing in the future. Fresh off announcing Sir Richard Branson’s appointment as company chairman and adopting the “Virgin” name as part of its branding strategy, Virgin Hyperloop One managed to hit a top speed of 240 mph during its third phase of testing at the company’s DevLoop test track in Nevada.

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