TWI Cambridge tech used for Elon Musk's historic SpaceX flight

SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy launch was succesful

While Elon Musk's Falcon Heavy is now the most powerful rocket in operation, it still doesn't have the record for the most powerful ever built.

After all, SpaceX may have made landing a rocket on an oceangoing, remote-controlled ships seem routine - the failed attempt to land Falcon Heavy's main booster was the first unsuccessful landing in about 19 months - but it's still a big, fiery rocket landing on a floating platform. All three of these ships are named after spacecraft featured in Iain M. Banks' series of "Culture" novels. According to Musk, the core didn't have enough ignition fluid to light the two outer engines of the booster for its final approach to the ship. The Falcon Heavy's two side boosters landed successfully (and simultaneously) on twin pads at the nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, but the center core crashed and burned.

So, if you go into the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab system HORIZONS and type in Target Body - change, you will see all the information about Generate Ephemeris related to its space spinning! And with the return of two of the Falcon Heavy's reusable boosters, the company is paving the way for cheap and reliable space travel.

The fix, he said, was "pretty obvious".

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"It's like a giant catcher's mitt, in boat form", Musk told reporters after the Falcon Heavy launch. "Just Read the Instructions" is in the Pacific for launches from Vandenberg, and "Of Course I Still Love You" in the Atlantic for launches from Cape Canaveral.

If you follow the build-up to and launch of Falcon Heavy earlier this month, you would have heard a lot of talk about just how powerful it is. With two different models of the SpaceX drone ship in the same location, sometimes both with sail out at the same time and work together for tandem ocean landings.

SpaceX is confident it can keep recovering boosters from Falcon Heavy launches. It will use a Falcon 9 rocket to launch the Paz Earth monitoring satellite into orbit for Spain. Only NASA's Saturn V rocket, which carried astronauts to the moon, has lifted more that high. The first test flight of that ship on a Falcon 9 rocket is also expected in 2018.

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