Why This Week's Big Rocket Launch May Make History

National Geographic News

More than 50 years after the Saturn V rocket sent humans to the moon, launchpad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center may once again become a backdrop to history. Through it all, three cameras aboard the Tesla will hopefully capture the scene. If successful, the Falcon Heavy will become the most powerful rocket in the world by a factor of two, capable of launching more than 140,000 pounds of cargo--and one day perhaps passengers--into low-Earth orbit. Only the Saturn V, the workhorse of the Apollo moon missions, has lifted more mass into orbit. The window for attempting the launch opens up at 1:30 p.m. ET on February 6.

The one big question I had during SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket launch: Who is Space Bae?


Elon Musk's SpaceX did the unimaginable on Tuesday -- it successfully completed its first test launch of its Falcon Heavy rocket, the company's most powerful rocket ever. And while many questions remain about what the launch means for SpaceX, there is one question we can't stop obsessing over:

Exclusive: Watch Elon Musk Freak Out Over the Falcon Heavy Launch

National Geographic News

On February 6, SpaceX made history with the largely successful first launch of its Falcon Heavy rocket--and National Geographic was there, right alongside SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. In preparation for the second season of MARS, which is returning to Nat Geo this fall, a camera crew followed Musk and his team on the day of the launch, capturing their reactions as the rocket rumbled to life. "Holy flying f--k, that thing took off," Musk exclaimed. Moments later, he and SpaceX staffers ran out the door of the launch control center and turned their gazes upward. As National Geographic reported from Cape Canaveral on Tuesday, the Falcon Heavy launch is a milestone for private companies' journey into space.

Watch SpaceX's Falcon Heavy launch today at 1:30 PM ET


Today, SpaceX will attempt to launch the Falcon Heavy rocket for the first time. If you'd like to watch the launch (and trust me, you definitely want to), then you can livestream it below. The stream will go live about 15–20 minutes before the launch window opens. Because this is a demo flight of a new rocket, though, delays can and should be expected.