All Elon Musk and SpaceX have ever really wanted to do is go to Mars. This month the company fired up the center core of its Falcon Heavy for the first time: the huge new rocket is designed to carry crewed or uncrewed missions to the Red Planet and perhaps even further into space.
The SpaceX Twitter on Tuesday account shared the below brief video of the test performed at the company’s test facility in Texas. A section of the Falcon Heavy can be seen secured to the launch pad so it doesn’t go anywhere, sending a whole bunch of smoke and fire below the pad.
All of SpaceX’s commercial launches so far have involved its smaller Falcon 9 rocket, but the company plans to begin using Falcon Heavy for a few missions later this year. Musk claims that when it goes into service, Heavy will be twice as powerful as any other rocket currently in use and instantly restore the possibility of manned missions to the moon or Mars.
Musk has plans for an even more monstrous rocket to build a million-strong colony on Mars over the next century.
The Falcon Heavy specs say it can carry 37,040 pounds (16,800 kilograms) to Mars. As if that weren’t ambitious enough, SpaceX also notes Falcon Heavy should be able to deliver 7,720 pounds (3,500 kilograms) to Pluto.
Paging Alan Stern and the New Horizons team … Elon Musk has a rocket you may be interested in.