Thousands traveled to Florida's Space Coast to witness the demonstration flight from Kennedy Space Center's Pad 39A, jamming roads for hours after liftoff of the world's most powerful rocket. "I really didn't think this would work".
The fate of Starman and the Tesla is unclear. To fill up the space that would normally be occupied by scientific equipment or another payload, Mr Musk put a auto into the rocket - and blasted it out into space, filming it as it went.
"It's ironic since battery modules should be the thing we are best at", Musk said during the company's fourth-quarter earnings call.
Two of the Heavy Falcon's reusable boosters successfully touched back down to their launchpads.
"You're gonna have a lot of competition between SpaceX and Blue Origin, once Virgin Galactic gets going, and they are getting going, you're gonna see among the three a huge push and a huge move toward going into space, getting people out there, getting payloads up there", says Olguin.
With its massive size and force, the Falcon Heavy is capable of packing close to 64 metric tons into orbit. The United States hasn't been able to send humans to space since the Space Shuttle program ended in 2011, relying on other nations to get our astronauts to the International Space Station.
"SpaceX designs manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft".
In fact, SpaceX already has a gig lined up: hauling a large communications satellite for an operator in Saudi Arabia sometime in early 2018. Space analysts have projected the actual development cost will exceed $30 billion.
"Space races are exciting", the billionaire entrepreneur, inventor, and real-life Tony Stark said on Tuesday.
A failure for the Falcon Heavy would have been a major setback for SpaceX, but would still have opened opportunities for rivals.
SpaceX - and the space community in general - is notoriously loose with deadlines. It would also take a much bigger rocket that he's calling the BFR, or the Big Falcon Rocket. The vessel's 27 engines together generate a lift-off thrust equal to approximately 18 Boeing 747 aircraft.
After personally inspecting the boosters, Musk said SpaceX will be able to reuse them if it wants. The company's immediate future will be all about finding a balance between the first two until the BFR is ready to fly.