CAPE CANAVERAL—Around midnight on Sunday, after the evening's heavy rain dwindled to a drizzle and then finally stopped, a giant rocket emerged from a warehouse into the thick, humid air, ready for a historic journey. Its first stop, not far from the warehouse, was launchpad 39A, the site of rocket launches that, decades earlier, had hurled American astronauts toward the moon. From there, the rocket will take off, propelled into the sky by the power of 27 roaring engines. It will climb higher and higher into the atmosphere until it's time to perform a complicated sequence not unlike synchronized swimming. Two of its three cores will dislodge and coast back down to Earth. The third will follow, just as soon as it deposits its payload, a shiny red car , into space, where it will settle into an orbit around the sun that will take it as far as Mars. Or, you know, the whole thing could all go up in flames. Such is the uncertain reality of the maiden flight of the Falcon Heavy, the heavy-lift launch vehicle developed by Elon Musk's SpaceX. There's a chance the attempt may go terrifically well, or horribly wrong. The launch is currently… Read full this story
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