New and exclusive footage in this article from National Geographic shows an exuberant Elon Musk watching the Falcon Heavy take flight proving once again, it doesn’t matter how many times your ideas re-shape the world, rockets are fucking cool.
Though we’ve been launching rockets into outer space for over sixty years, this is a new era in which we’re seeing successful launches from independent companies. At a maximum capacity of 141,000lbs, the Falcon Heavy is capable of carrying the second highest payload of any rocket in history (second only to NASA’s mission to the moon on the Saturn V). It shows that the team at SpaceX is off to an incredible start. This isn’t to say that SpaceX could have done all these things alone; they stand on the shoulders of the giants who came before them at NASA. There will long be a place and a need in space exploration for both NASA and SpaceX.
There are a lot of questions still left to be answered from the launch of these newer rockets (when will it be ready for manned human flight into outer space, what types of greater contributions will it make for research), but for now, I see this as a glimmer of what could be the next great era in space exploration.
If you’re interested in seeing more behind the scenes footage from the launch of Falcon Heavy, National Geographic followed Musk and his team for the upcoming second season of the show MARS, returning to Nat Geo this fall.
But please, do check out the clip from Nat Geo of Elon Musk bouncing around and watching his rocket take off. He deserves his moment of being that happy. And yes Elon, it did fucking fly.