MARS (2016) s02e00 Episode Script

Inside SpaceX

ALI: We now go to a historic moment at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Elon Musk, the billionaire founder of SpaceX and Tesla, is set to launch the biggest rocket in the world today.
LAUREN: You are looking at a live view of the Falcon Heavy, the world's most powerful operational rocket by a factor of two, and today is the day that we have come to demonstrate that power TOM: The mission: break through Earth's gravitational pull and head for a solar orbit, including Mars.
This reported $90 million mission, paid for by billionaire SpaceX founder.
CASEY: This is a point in history that we don't come to often.
We're in this amazing transition point that we have not been in since the moon landings.
NEIL: I'm going to step off the LEM now.
That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.
CASEY: With companies like SpaceX, we have alignment of so many capabilities and opportunities and changes happening that are all pushing in one direction, which is towards Mars.
ROBERT: We had plans to land the first humans on Mars in 1981 and have a permanent base on Mars by the late 1980s.
And if anybody had told me when I was 17 watching that moon landing that I would be 64 and we wouldn't be on Mars, I would have thought they were crazy.
PETER: Apollo was, you know, nearly 50 years ago.
That's insane, that we went to the moon with 1960's technology and haven't gone back since then CASEY: The question is, why did we not keep going? PETER: Going to Mars, it's really expensive.
It's such a massive human undertaking.
We need commercial space companies that I think are going to help bring the cost of space down, to open the frontier irreversibly for everybody.
JEAN-YVES: Please join me in welcoming Elon Musk.
(APPLAUSE) ELON: Thank you.
What I really want to try to achieve here is to make Mars seem possible, make it seem as though it's something that we can do in our lifetimes and that you can go.
That's what we want.
ANDY: We need to go to Mars, because it protects us from extinction.
There's all sorts of things that could happen on Earth that'd kill all humans on the planet.
But once humans are on two different planets, the odds of extinction drop to nearly zero.
JOHN: We're currently at T-minus 17 minutes, 40 seconds and counting down.
All systems are go for launch with the SpaceX test flight of the Falcon Heavy launch vehicle.
ELON: This window of opportunity is open for life to go beyond Earth, but who knows how long that window will be open.
Guys, the tanks are fully loaded.
- EMPLOYEE: How do you feel? - ELON: Good, I hope.
(LAUGHS) FEMALE: As long as they don't blow up.
That's what the guy from SpaceX said.
As long as they don't blow up, we're good to go.
STEPHEN: This kind of thing can barely be done by extremely advanced governments.
MALE: T minus 30 seconds.
STEPHEN: And here comes a guy with 350 million bucks that says, I'm gonna start a rocket company and I'm gonna get us to Mars.
RICKY: SpaceX Falcon Heavy, go for launch.
STEPHEN: Humans cannot survive on Earth indefinitely.
MALE: Falcon Heavy is on internal power.
EFTS is ready for launch.
STEPHEN: So, think of everything that we've achieved as a civilization.
MALE: Falcon Heavy is in start-up.
STEPHEN: Think of everything that we've achieved as a culture.
FEMALE: T minus 15, standby for terminal count.
ELON: Guys, here it goes.
STEPHEN: We will go extinct if we do not become a space-faring species.
FEMALE: Ten, nine.
Eight, seven, six.
STEPHEN: Survival for humanity in the long run depends on it.
- FEMALE: Five, four, three.
- ELON: Two, one, zero.
ELON: This is hallowed ground.
It's called Launchpad 39A and it's the place that the first humans left Earth and went to another heavenly body.
So, this is, I think, probably, I think it's the greatest launch site on Earth.
JULES: Buzz Aldrin, Mike Collins, and Neil Armstrong get into the transfer van to pad 39A.
ELON: Pad 39A was used for the Apollo 11 mission.
And then, with the Space Shuttle.
So, it's a place with incredible historical significance.
Now, NASA has given Launchpad 39A to SpaceX to use.
All right, guys, we're going to go up the elevator.
KAI: Dad, - what is this building for? - ELON: This is the launch tower.
So, this is where the astronauts would go up.
And then there would be a big arm that would swing over to the spacecraft and they'd walk down the gangway, climb in the spacecraft, go to space.
And this isn't floors, this is feet.
Pretty cool.
NARRATOR: From the first explorers who ventured off our planet, to those who have risked their lives in pursuit of furthering our understanding of the universe, the astronauts and engineers behind the US space program have spent decades advancing space technology.
But building rockets was expensive.
By the early 2000s the US space program was struggling, and a mission to Mars was hard to imagine.
ROB: The Space Shuttle spreads its wings one final time for the start of this sentimental journey into history.
NARRATOR: It was then that a young entrepreneur had a revolutionary idea.
ELON: With SpaceX, what we're trying to do is achieve a huge advancement in rocket technology.
If you look at rocket technology, it actually got worse over time.
In 1969, we were able to go to the moon, and then with the Space Shuttle we were only able to go to lower earth orbit.
And then when the Space Shuttle went away, and then we weren't able to go to orbit from the United States.
See, like, that's a negative trend line.
It's not like you can extrapolate that trend line into the future and it gets good.
It's a trend line to zero.
So, if it's not gonna come from the government, then it's gotta come from a private company.
So Falcon Heavy ended up being a much more complex program than we thought Well, we're super excited obviously at SpaceX to announce, uh, the, some of the details around the Falcon Heavy rocket, which is our, our launch rocket development, really large rocket development.
NARRATOR: Falcon Heavy is the most powerful operational rocket in the world.
In addition to the center core, it's powered by two Falcon 9 rocket boosters that have each flown and landed once before.
They'll now be reused to launch Heavy.
ELON: Falcon Heavy is really a revolution in space technology.
The long-term goal of SpaceX is to develop the technology necessary to establish a self-sustaining city on Mars.
(MUSIC) RICKY: One of the most exciting parts of working at SpaceX is missions like Falcon Heavy.
These bold missions, these bold visions for doing things better, but also, doing things on a much grander scale.
SAM: All right guys, let's go ahead and get this pre-test going for dance floor removal.
It's gonna be the first time that we do it, so here's the number one rule: we're gonna take our time and be safe.
And so I want everyone to walk through, make sure the area's clean.
We're not gonna have access to those areas once the dance floor is out, so let's do a FOD sweep and then, we can get into it.
LEE: There are things in your life that you will remember, you know, the birth of your kids, and then, when we landed a rocket here, um, and this one will be another one, for sure.
The fact that we built and are launching the largest vehicle since Saturn 5, the rocket that took us to the moon, folks will look back on Heavy as a stepping stone to Mars.
REPORTER: Lift off, we have a lift off.
STEPHEN: Wernher Von Braun, who built the Saturn 5, overbuilt entirely the rocket to go to the moon.
Saturn 5 is the largest, longest, and heaviest machine ever built by humans.
It's absolute overkill for going to the moon.
And the reason is Von Braun didn't want to go to the moon.
He wanted to go to Mars.
Von Braun, just like Elon Musk, was intensely aware that humans, in order to survive, have to become a space-faring species.
ELON: Mars is the only possibility in our solar system for being multi-planetary with the technology that we're aware of right now.
GEORGE: Main engines start, zero, and lift off of the Atlas 5 with Curiosity.
ROB: Breaking news this morning, the NASA Mars rover Curiosity touched down this morning, right there on the Red Planet.
MALE: Touchdown confirmed, we're safe on Mars.
- (APPLAUSE) - (CHEERS) PETER: Spirit, Opportunity, Curiosity, all of these rovers have started to unveil, and show us that there is water, that the Martian soil has nutrients.
ROBERT: Mars is the closest planetary object that has all the conditions and resources needed to support life and therefore technological civilization.
We just have to get there.
ELON: Before we do the flight, we do what's called a static fire.
So we will load up the propellants and start the engines, but hold the rocket down to see if there's anything that seems suspicious to us.
RICKY: The last interest item is weather.
The weather is pretty favorable today.
We're looking at winds above 25 miles per hour.
ELON: And assuming that all the manual checks and the automatic checks come back okay, then the rocket will be released for launch.
For Falcon Heavy we have to light 27 engines simultaneously, so there's a lot that could go wrong.
JARED: So, five hertz is where we really break.
- - JARED: Yeah.
RICKY: The static fire lets you make sure the rocket's healthy, the pad is ready to go.
That's also the time when you can find some really significant surprises.
- Some are good, some aren't so good.
- JARED: AGS, this is the ER.
We've been having some conversations with automation.
It seems like five hertz is a hard limit in terms of operation of that auto engine.
If you see this thing coming down toward six and a half or six hertz, I think you should be calling our attention to it.
ELON: We're pretty gun-shy about launching.
If we see anything that seems questionable, we don't launch.
RICKY: Briefing for instructions for an abort.
In the need for an urgent abort, operators shall call, "Hold, hold, hold" on the primary countdown net.
ELON: That results in a lot of postponements.
MALE: It is full load then lift cylinders are attracting.
Question: Does it, do you guys want to make that call right now? Secure for T-zero-eighty-eight point three degrees.
Yes, close outs are started.
RICKY: ID on countdown, go for static fire.
Reminder: site booster engine startup is at T-minus 7 seconds.
FEMALE: Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one.
(MUSIC) RICKY: Full duration, static fire.
(APPLAUSE) The Falcon Heavy static fire was a pretty big deal because even though there was a successful static fire attempt, honestly, it is a brand-new vehicle.
NARRATOR: Falcon Heavy is The culmination of years of innovation in rocket technology, taking the company one step closer to Mars.
DR.
ISLER: It's going to be exceptionally difficult to go to Mars.
You're talking about, you know, new technologies in virtually every possible system.
And this is where, you know, science and science-fiction sort of collide in a way that is, um, helpful.
You learn a lot more, but it also reminds you of just how much there is at stake.
MALE: Three, two, one.
STEPHEN: There is no such thing as a perfect record in rocketry.
On average, 20 percent of all attempts to get off the face of the Earth with a rocket fail.
CASEY: And there's a strained relationship between failure, risk, and innovation, which is: you can take risks, you can try something very innovative, but you're more likely to fail.
This is why different types of rocket companies and NASA itself tend to go with older technologies.
PETER: I first met Elon back in 2000.
And I was actually trying to talk him out of doing SpaceX.
I said, look at all of these dead bodies along the way, you know, all of these companies that have attempted to go.
I mean, come on, what are the odds you're going to succeed.
But he's shown the world it's doable.
NARRATOR: Falcon Heavy has been seven years in the making, but it all started with SpaceX's first model, the Falcon 1.
This was their first attempt to create a reliable, low-cost rocket made up of two stages and designed to low-Earth orbit.
ELON: Rockets, they really don't want to work.
They like to blow up a lot.
MALE: Three, two, one, zero, plus one, plus two, plus three, plus four.
ELON: At the beginning of SpaceX, I had originally thought, "Okay, I've got enough money for three attempts.
" - MALE: Sequence initiated.
- FEMALE: Three, two, one.
ELON: And, uh.
And we, unfortunately, we did have three failures.
Uh, yeah, um, well, failure sucks.
It's really terrible.
(LAUGHS) There's a thousand ways that a rocket could fail, and one way that it could succeed.
Um, and, uh, particularly, you know, in the beginning, they tend to fail more than succeed.
But we managed to, to scrape together enough to have a fourth attempt.
FEMALE: Three, two, one.
Zero.
We're at stage one.
We have liftoff indication.
We have liftoff.
SpaceX Falcon 1 launch pad, Falcon has cleared the tower.
- (APPLAUSE) - (CHEERS) MALE: Shutdown.
Congratulations.
My brother.
ELON: Thankfully, that fourth attempt worked.
This is just the first step of many.
And this really opens a way for us to get Falcon 9 going; get, you know, manned space flight and ultimately getting to Mars.
I mean, there's just so many cool things that are, that are there in the future.
I think that this is definitely, the future of SpaceX is really great.
I mean, this is.
- (APPLAUSE) - (CHEERS) STEPHEN: When Elon Musk decided, I'm gonna go off and build my own rocket company, everyone thought he was crazy.
Everyone laughed at him.
ELON: No one has ever really contemplated this in a serious way.
In the beginning, we thought, this is so crazy.
What are we doing trying to come up with something like this? And then, over time, we're like yeah, it can definitely be done.
And now we're just kind of arguing over the details.
SHANA: We can explore the universe.
We can put a colony on Mars.
People can be interplanetary and it's just an engineering problem like any other.
And it just takes a group of people who care a lot and are happy to work really hard to make that happen.
ELON: So, the long-term goal is how fast can we establish a self-sustaining city on Mars? EMPLOYEE: Do we focus on just trying to get the ship there and then maybe some people some other time? ELON: I think we'd send a ship, make sure it can land okay.
Assuming that lands okay and it seems to be working, on the next Mars mission we would send people and additional equipment.
STEPHEN: SpaceX is like no other rocket company.
They're in an unglamorous building in the middle of nowhere, in kind of an industrial zone.
But when you walk into the doors and all of a sudden you see they're making these pristine, gorgeous rockets, it feels like you've walked into a factory on another planet.
NARRATOR: After Falcon 1, SpaceX set its sights on the next phase in their rocket evolution, the Falcon 9.
The design called for a booster which contained nine Merlin engines, and increased the amount it could lift by more than thirty times.
But the key component of Falcon 9 design was reusability.
MALE: SpaceX Falcon 9 and Dragon are go for launch.
STEPHEN: Elon Musk has said the key to get to Mars is the reusability of rockets.
RICKY: LZ, ID.
Go for launch.
STEPHEN: That's an extremely complicated concept.
He wants to be able to fire a rocket into orbit, launch a payload into space.
And then fire retrorockets and bring that rocket down to land vertically and reuse it.
If he cannot make rockets truly reusable, then he cannot launch a new civilization on Mars.
So SpaceX has an incredible camera focused on it, and an incredible amount of attention.
Because it's the only company in the world that is actually trying to do what it's trying to do, which is develop the technology to get humans to Mars.
- (APPLAUSE) - (CHEERS) Civilization on Earth is actually very vulnerable.
ELON: Either we're going to become a multi-planet species, a space-faring civilization, or we're going to be stuck on one planet until some eventual extinction event.
(EXPLOSION) (EXPLOSION) STEPHEN: Lots of rockets fail all the time.
The only time anybody ever notices is when a SpaceX rocket fails.
ELON: And it was June 28th, 2015.
Actually, my birthday.
Uh.
Normally, I'm here for the missions.
But, uh, thought, okay, well, it's my birthday, so.
And then.
So that was, that was a real downer.
After that failure, obviously we needed to do a complete review of the whole rocket.
So the whole launch program ground to a halt.
We had been launching a rocket about every six weeks or so, and then we didn't launch a rocket for six months.
And that put a lot of financial stress on the company, because we had all the cost and none of the revenue.
STEPHEN: One of the most radical ideas that SpaceX has to lower this horrendous cost of getting into space is reusability.
It now costs $60 million every launch.
Send up a satellite, the rocket gets destroyed, you've lost $60 million.
If you can reuse that rocket a thousand times, the cost goes from 60 million to $60,000.
NARRATOR: The SES-10 mission features a Falcon 9 that had launched and landed once before.
If successful, this would be an historic day for SpaceX, the first re-flight of an orbital class rocket.
MARK: We're going try to launch our first reused rocket.
This company was founded to make space more accessible.
And.
uh, the fundamental key in doing that is having a reusable rocket.
MALE: T-minus ten, nine.
ELON: It's going to drop the cost of getting to Mars by a huge amount, to come back and land at the launch site and fly again.
- It's just like an aircraft.
- MALE: Two, one.
Liftoff of Falcon 9, the world's first re-flight orbital class rocket.
ELON: The cost of fuel and oxygen is very low compared to the cost of the rocket booster and the spaceship.
MALE: Stage separation confirmed.
ANDY: Imagine if you took a flight from New York to London.
And then, at the end of the flight, they threw away the plane.
Imagine how much tickets would have to cost for that flight in order for the airline to make money.
That's ridiculous.
You reuse the plane.
ELON: I just don't think there's any way to have a self-sustaining Mars base without reusability.
I mean, this is really fundamental.
If wooden sailing ships in the old days were not reusable, I don't think the United States would exist.
But reusability is a very hard problem, because you've got to enter the atmosphere at an incredibly blazing-fast speed.
You've got to fire the rockets into a supersonic airstream, zero out your velocity, deploy the landing gear, and land.
And you got one shot.
MARK: The pressure is so high on this one.
These rockets are complicated machines, and, uh, we're doing something new.
There's always uncertainties associated with that.
KATE: Right now, we're just watching our screen here.
And hopefully we'll all see a, a successful landing, once again, altogether.
STEPHEN: If they nail this ability to land a rocket from being in space on Earth.
Then they can nail doing it on Mars.
- (APPLAUSE) - (CHEERS) (MUSIC) MALE: Of course, I still love you.
We have a Falcon 9 on board.
- (APPLAUSE) - (SHOUTING CHEERS) (MUSIC) (APPLAUSE) NARRATOR: With the success of the SES-10 mission, SpaceX had all the ingredients to assemble the most powerful launch vehicle since Saturn V, the Falcon Heavy.
Heavy has the ability to lift more than the weight of a 737 jet, loaded with passengers, crew, luggage, and fuel.
With reusable boosters and an increased payload capacity, it's able to transport the incredible amount of supplies needed to build a human civilization on Mars.
GREG: After static fire, we come back into the hangar, take the fairing off.
We'll have a lot of inspections to do.
We'll have a lot of data to review.
With Heavy, since this launch is a test, there's a lot that we don't know about the vehicle yet.
So, we've done hundreds or thousands of tests of various systems, but until you put it all together, you don't really know what's going to happen.
LEE: There's just really no commercially viable heavy lift vehicle out there today.
Heavy has about twice the carrying capacity of the next biggest rocket that's out there.
To have the world's largest rocket flying is really important.
It means we can launch the larger payloads that are necessary for getting things to Mars as well.
GREG: Ultimately, any launch vehicle is intended to bring a payload to some sort of orbit.
ELON: When there's a test launch of a new rocket, the convention of the space industry is actually quite boring.
Like, they'll literally launch a block of concrete.
Why waste a good test launch on a block of concrete? What's the most fun thing that we could send to Mars orbit? The suggestion that everyone thought was the most exciting was to send a car through space.
And they're putting all sorts of interesting bits and pieces in the glove compartment, in the trunk, and we want to have a big sign that says, "Don't Panic!" You know, from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
GREG: Once we get the go-ahead from all the responsible engineers saying that their systems are okay and that we've checked everything out, we will put the payload in, get everything buttoned up, and finally seal that for flight, bring it back out onto the pad, go vertical again, and, and be ready for launch.
JARED: One, one note on that top bullet.
So T-minus 30 seconds is when we're looking to get all decisions on a manual abort.
And after that, and after that we are pencils down, and will let the vehicle abort system abort us if something is truly wrong with the vehicle.
LEE: Today is kind of the final checks of the launch vehicle.
Making sure that the pad and the launch vehicle are connected together, talking to teach other, checking all the final systems, and things like that.
Giving everyone an opportunity to voice their opinion about their readiness.
And we have to go look at something, we'll go look at it.
And we'll go fix it.
RICKY: There's so much that goes into preparing, because this was the first time this vehicle's ever been put together.
So the center core and the second stage and the fairing are brand new, but the side cores are actually boosters that have flown before.
I can't remember how long it's been since everybody's felt this nervous and so electric about something.
Because the last thing we want is to just rush into a disaster.
JENNIFER: These types of complicated missions require large teams of differently-skilled people to work together to accomplish something.
RICKY: Okay, overall status on work orders tracking very well.
Really impressive by that entire team.
JENNIFER: You need people with skills in a lot of different areas with expertise in different areas.
But if you have these big teams of experts, the impossible really becomes possible.
ZACH: And just, ID, sorry, one additional question about winds.
It sounds like we'll be fairly close to limits, but still, if things play out tomorrow - as expected, we'll be on the good side.
- RICKY: That's right.
If there is a part of the window that is favorable, uh, he had to assess the whole two-and-a-half - hour window to give his 20 percent.
- ZACH: Okay, got it.
Falcon Heavy is more complicated machine, it's a bigger machine, it's harder to analyze, and there's more folks that have to be involved to understand how it's going to perform.
As we go through the challenges and we run into problems, I'm very thankful for the early days for SpaceX and for launching rockets.
When Ricky Lim and I were in the Marshall Islands, when we were on Kwaj launching Falcon 1's.
MALE: Liftoff.
ZACH: We've had 10 years of launching rockets together and working through many, many challenges.
And over the years, from Falcon 1 to Falcon 9 to Dragon Missions.
MALE: Falcon 9 and Dragon are in orbit.
ZACH: Each one of these has been a step that allows us to test out and to build technology that will eventually allow us to go to Mars.
MALE: Dragon separation stage.
ZACH: And Falcon Heavy is a next critical step in the evolution of how we're going to develop the Mars program.
NARRATOR: Now, after almost a decade of work, there are just 24 hours to go before Falcon Heavy attempts its maiden flight.
(MUSIC) - ELON: All right.
Okay.
- PHOTOGRAPHER: Hi.
ELON: Are you guys ready? - TOM: Elon, in our lifetimes.
- ELON: Yeah.
TOM: Where will SpaceX take us or where will humans go in space? ELON: I'm very hopeful that humanity will have a base on the moon and a city on Mars in our lifetimes.
- TOM: In our lifetimes? - ELON: Yes.
Yes.
Well, hopefully Falcon Heavy will inspire people to think about Mars because, you know, there's all these defensive reasons of, like, we want to be a multi-planet species and, and then having a life insurance policy in case something bad happens to Earth.
But I personally don't find that nearly as motivating as the excitement of being a space-faring civilization and being a multi-planet species and getting out there among the stars and seeing what the universe is all about.
I find it incredibly inspiring.
ELON: And when I talk to other people they also find it inspiring.
OBSERVER: The two side racers are gonna start off the land right over here.
The third one is gonna continue going into orbit.
ELON: You know, in Apollo, when people landed on the moon for the first time, that was something that was great for all of humanity.
And there were people that walked 50 miles to find the one TV where they could see the thing live.
SAM: What do you think about this moon landing? FRANK: Well, it's the beginning of a new frontier.
The gateway to Mars.
ELON: So, whether you're rich or poor, whatever country you're in, everyone needs inspiration.
RICKY: The number of people that came out and traveled a really far distance, coming across the country in certain cases, and to actually see the public be that interested in what we're doing is pretty amazing.
TOM: Elon Musk calls this rocket Falcon Heavy, the biggest rocket to take off from here since the Apollo moon missions.
INTERVIEWER: This can very well change the face of space travel.
TOM: Today's mission is all about the mantra, "Go big or go home.
" ROBERT: Heavy lift capability is the critical technology needed to enable human missions to Mars, and a reusable, heavy lift vehicle, is the critical technology need to settle Mars.
MARK: If Heavy, it works, it's an even better rocket than Falcon 9, cause it can deliver more payload.
And, you know, like sending stuff to Mars, Heavy is really the vehicle we need for that.
ELON: Getting to Mars will be risky, dangerous, uncomfortable, but it'll be the greatest adventure ever, ever in human history.
RICKY: Hey Zack.
It's me and Elon.
Yes, I see you there with Elon.
Did you see the picture I just sent you? ZACH: Uh, did you send it over email? RICKY: Yeah, I just sent it over email.
So the weather officer is telling us that it trends better.
- ZACH: Okay.
- RICKY: Towards the end.
So we're thinking the recommendation of going to the end of the window is pretty.
ELON: An extra half-hour? ZACH: Um, it's fifty.
- RICKY: It's 55 minutes.
- ZACH: Four minutes.
So we're at 3:05 PM T-zero right now and we have until 4:00 PM.
RICKY: So if you look at the, uh, picture, um, the dark blue line is the latest line.
ELON: I'm trying to figure out if this is trending positively or negatively.
That, that obviously affects whether we postpone launch or not.
RICKY: Hey guys, I'm going to give us a little bit more time to decide.
I'm just going to push the plug.
ELON: Yeah, yeah, uh, don't, yeah, hold the plug for now.
RICKY: You got it.
ELON: When is the soonest we can launch? ZACH: The soonest we can launch, um, we have 90 minute propellant load at T-minus 85 minutes.
That's the point of no return.
- We start to make the T tab on the second switch alert.
- ELON: 85 minutes.
- ZACH: That's right.
Yep.
RICKY: Launch day is easily the most nerve-racking day, ever.
Every launch, every mission, you want to go perfectly.
But the last couple of hours, everyone's just looking out for things that can get in the way and just removing blockers.
So Elon, I would like to give you as many options as possible, I just wanna get the required items going now.
ELON: Okay.
- All right, fire away.
- RICKY: You got it.
So 3:45 local, I'll give you options.
- ELON: Sounds good.
- RICKY: Okay.
RICKY: All right, here I go.
All right, he still needs a little more time, but we're gonna get the clock rolling.
3:45 pm local, and then, give him some more time.
KATY: The window for the SpaceX liftoff, is quickly closing down.
TOM: They have heavy winds at altitude, and the wind shear at altitude could affect the trajectory of the rocket.
MALE: Stage two log slowed.
Throttling back.
ELON: There's a lot of risk in flight.
There's a lot that could go wrong.
MALE: Stage two log slowed.
MICHAEL: So about halfway through the first stage's burn, the two side boosters will separate and come back to earth for a simultaneous landing and executing a three-burn maneuver to get them back to landing zones one and two, and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
Now, this second stage of the fairing, right at the very top there, that second stage will be sending our payload way out into a Mars crossing orbit.
So, if all goes well after launch, we'll have three first stage cores back on earth, two for the second time, and a wealth of data for perfecting airplane-like operation in the future.
RICKY: T minus 10 minutes.
Falcon Heavy is on internal power.
ELON: Okay, everything's great, guys.
All systems green.
Okay.
Party time.
- EMPLOYEE: How do you feel? - ELON: Good.
I hope.
(LAUGHS) MALE: AFTS is ready for launch.
Falcon Heavy is in startup.
ELON: You know, I had this image, just a giant explosion on the pad with a wheel bouncing down the road, and, uh, the side boosters landing somewhere with a thud.
For Falcon Heavy we have to light 27 engines simultaneously.
This is an incredible amount of force and noise and vibration and heat.
We will do our best to minimize the risk associated, but it's a test flight.
And if that thing, I hope, I sure hope it doesn't, you know, touch wood, but that thing could blow up on the pad.
RICKY: SpaceX, Falcon Heavy, go for launch.
MALE: Falcon Heavy is on internal power.
AFTS is ready for launch.
Falcon Heavy is in start up.
ELON: Okay.
So, what we do is launch off, we run outside and watch it go up.
Actually, give it ten seconds, 'cause you won't be able to see it.
And then, in about ten seconds from that, after we see this thing go, we're gonna.
SON: T-minus 40 seconds.
FEMALE: T-minus 30 seconds.
- (APPLAUSE) - (CHEERS) RICKY: Launch director on countdown one, SpaceX Falcon Heavy, go for launch.
MALE: Falcon Heavy is configured for flight.
FEMALE: T-minus 15.
Standby for terminal count.
ELON: And if one of those engines fails, it will trigger an abort.
- All systems currently green.
- SON: Okay, that's good.
FEMALE: 10, 9.
8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3.
2, 1, 0.
Ignition.
RICKY: Liftoff.
Liftoff.
Go, go, go, go, go.
Off the pad.
(MUSIC) UNIDENTIFIED: Oh my, my God.
(MUSIC) Oh my God! (MUSIC) - (APPLAUSE) - (CHEERS) MALE: Vehicle is supersonic.
JOHN: You heard the call out.
Vehicle is supersonic.
Side boosters are now throttling back up to full power.
MALE: Vehicle has reached maximum dynamic pressure.
JOHN: We passed max Q, the period of maximum loads on the vehicle.
ELON: Oh my God, guys, it took off.
CHILD: All right, go, go, go! Go, go, go! Go, go, go! JOHN: Major event coming up with side booster shutdown and separation.
MALE: Side boosters take off.
- (MUSIC) - (APPLAUSE)(CHEERS) JOHN: Successful separation! SPECTATOR: Yes! Oh my God! Whooo! ELON: That's unreal.
(MUSIC) What?! (MUSIC) SPECTATOR: We love you! MALE: Central cores are shut down.
The separation confirmed.
Separate core booster start up behind.
Separate core start from this point forward.
MICHAEL: On your screen at the moment, you've got a few things happening.
On the upper right, you've got MVAC-D continuing its burn, and on the two bottom screens, you've got the side boosters headed back towards Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, landing zones one and two.
MALE: Both side boosters transonic.
- (MUSIC) - (CHEERS) ELON: Yes, light.
Light.
- (MUSIC) - (APPLAUSE)(CHEERS) (INAUDIBLE) coming soon, - (MUSIC) - (SCREAMS CHEERS) (LAUGHS) See? (INAUDIBLE) boom! (MUSIC) MALE: Side boosters landing legs have deployed.
- (MUSIC) - (APPLAUSE)(CHEERS) MALE: LZ1 to LZ2, both side boosters are touchdown.
Landing operators move on to recovery one and recovery two.
MALE: Stage two, ASTS has saved.
(APPLAUSE) ELON: I don't see any fire plumes over there.
- (MUSIC) - (APPLAUSE)(SCREAMS CHEERS) (MUSIC) That's the, the booster's already over Africa.
It's going to be over Nigeria right now.
Yeah.
Stage two position.
That's the ground track.
It's fast! New ways of traveling, guys.
Hugs, congrats.
(MUSIC) RICKY: Congrats, Charlie.
Holy cow! Look at that! EMPLOYEE: Dude, that is awesome.
(MUSIC) ELON: Guys, do you see this? Look at the car in space.
You guys have been in the car.
I've driven you in that car.
(LAUGHS) This is so trippy.
We want to demonstrate that Falcon Heavy is capable of getting to Mars orbit.
- Yeah!! If it's, like, out there floating for millions or maybe a billion years, and then, you know, maybe long after human civilization is maybe gone, maybe some, some future ancient civilization will come around and find it and say, "Hey, this is cool.
I wonder what those guys were up to.
" (MUSIC) Awesome.
(MUSIC) - (LAUGHS) - (CHEERS) It's, it's one of those things that's a reason to live.
Life cannot just be about solving one miserable problem after another.
There have to be reasons that, where you wake up in the morning and you look forward to being alive and you're excited about the future.
smile.
That's, I think, what Mars represents most to me.
It's seeing what the universe is all about.
(MUSIC)