Noted Buies Creek photographer Bennett Scarborough was on hand this week for the historic launch launch of SpaceX.
Mr.Scarborough has been witness to numerous space shuttle launches.
On Tuesday, SpaceX successfully launched the largest operational rocket in the world from the Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39A. The Falcon Heavy is a three core, two stage rocket capability of lifting 140,660 pounds to low earth orbit. For most test launches of new rockets, the ballast mass simulator is usually made of concrete blocks or steel plates, but SpaceX launched a car. CEO and Lead Designer Elon Musk used his own Telsa Roadster with a mannequin in a space suit for the ballast. “Silly, fun things are important,” is how Musk described his payload.
SpaceX has invested over a half billion dollars into the design of the Falcon Heavy. Three times during the development of the rocket, they try to cancel the program. “Man this is way harder than we thought” Musk said of the three core design. But on Tuesday, the demonstration flight sent his Telsa Roadster on a path beyond Mars orbit to the Astroid belt. SpaceX successfully recovered the two side Falcon 9, but lost the center core when two of the three reentry engines didn’t not ignite. In reflecting on the launch Musk said, “Crazy things can come true.”