On Tuesday, Feb. 6th at 3:45 PM ET, Spacex Falcon Heavy launch vehicle successfully lifted off from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Falcon Heavy is the most powerful operational rocket in the world, with the ability to lift into orbit nearly 64 metric tons (141,000 lb)--a mass greater than a 737 jetliner loaded with passengers, crew, luggage and fuel.
Falcon Heavy can lift more than twice the payload of the next closest operational vehicle, the Delta IV Heavy, at one-third the cost.
Falcon Heavy's first stage is composed of three Falcon 9 nine-engine cores whose 27 Merlin engines together generate more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff, equal to approximately eighteen 747 aircraft.
Following liftoff, the two side boosters separated from the center core and returned to landing sites for future reuse. The center core, traveling further and faster than the side boosters, was also expected to lands on a drone ship located in the Atlantic Ocean, but was lost.
The payload is a Tesla Roadster car, which will be lofted into the orbit of Mars. At max velocity the Roadster will travel 11 km/s (7mi/s) and travel 400 million km (250 million mi) from Earth.
Only the Saturn V moon rocket, last flown in 1973, delivered more payload to orbit.