- SpaceX is preparing to launch its most powerful rocket to date on Tuesday, called Falcon Heavy.
- Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon and founder of space company Blue Origin, sent Musk a well-wishing tweet on Monday.
- Musk fired back a kissy face emoji.
There seems to be a bromance in the private space race.
On Monday, as SpaceX founder Elon Musk was making his last-minute preparations for a planned Tuesday launch of Falcon Heavy – the company’s most powerful rocket – Jeff Bezos sent Musk a good luck tweet:
A “nominal” flight (in rocket scientist parlance) is one that goes off without a hitch, but a flaw-free blastoff on Tuesday will be a challenge for SpaceX. Musk has described the feat he’s attempting as a veritable space ballet.
If the launch is a success, it will send Musk’s own 2008 Tesla Roadster into an elliptical orbit between Mars and the Sun. David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” is expected to blast from the car stereo, for the universe to hear (except for the fact that sound can’t really travel in space).
Musk has admitted there’s a good chance the whole thing might blow up, so he is likely on edge as the launch time approaches. But he quickly sent a kissy face back to Bezos:
A successful launch for Musk would demonstrate that the Falcon Heavy reusable rocket system will be a feasible way to send lots of stuff into space in the future.
Bezos, meanwhile, has his own competing space enterprise, Blue Origin. In December, the company launched a test dummy (“Mannequin Skywalker”) into space in a reusable capsule called New Shepard, which could one day ferry passengers into space.
Bezos is also working on his own large-scale space delivery systems, but they’re not ready yet. Blue Origin’s big payload system, dubbed New Glenn, is unlikely to be quite as powerful as SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy. While Blue Origin’s system could one day deliver almost 100,000 pounds of stuff into orbit, SpaceX claims the Falcon Heavy could deliver more than 140,000 pounds into low-earth orbit.
But first, one of the moguls has to prove that their system actually works.
The warm and friendly tweets could be a sign we’re in for more bromantic, competitive encouragement as the two billionaires continue trying out new ways to successfully launch people and payloads into space.
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