You’d be overwhelmed too if you just sent a $200,000 car into space.
Elon Musk, founder and CEO of aerospace manufacturer SpaceX, was overcome by emotion in behind-the-scenes footage from Tuesday’s launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket, which sent a dummy aboard a red Tesla Roadster into the deep recesses of outer space.
In video captured by National Geographic at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, Musk was heard exclaiming “Holy flying f***, that thing took off,” as the Falcon Heavy shot up into the atmosphere.
The Roadster’s lifeless driver, christened Starman, was originally intended to follow a course to Mars. The car went past Mars’ orbit and entered the asteroid belt.
Third burn successful. Exceeded Mars orbit and kept going to the Asteroid Belt. pic.twitter.com/bKhRN73WHF
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 7, 2018
Starman’s ultimate destination is now unknown, particularly since SpaceX said they will not track the Tesla’s journey and the batteries of the cameras set on the vehicle only lasted 12 hours.
NASA said they’re keeping tabs on the Roadster, CNN reported. They officially labeled the car a “Near-Earth Object” and entered it into the Horizons database.
Two of the reusable cores used to take the car into space successfully landed back down onto the Cape Canaveral launch pad. The third crashed into the ocean.
Tuesday’s launch was a major victory for Musk, whose company seeks to reduce space travel costs and pioneer the colonization of Mars.
Despite the failure of the third core and the Tesla’s missed Mars orbit trajectory, the Falcon Heavy’s successful launch proved the viability of SpaceX’s reusable booster technology, which will score them points with current and potential clients.
President Trump congratulated Musk, who has previously voiced disagreement with the American head of state, including for the decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord.
Congratulations @ElonMusk and @SpaceX on the successful #FalconHeavy launch. This achievement, along with @NASA’s commercial and international partners, continues to show American ingenuity at its best! pic.twitter.com/eZfLSpyJPK
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 7, 2018
The president knows when to let bygones be bygones and give due credit for a job well done.