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SpaceX releases animation of heavy-lift Falcon rocket
by Brooks Hays
Cape Canaveral, Fla. (UPI) Jan 28, 2015

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

The new video showing the blast off of SpaceX's heavy-lift rocket might look real, but the Falcon Heavy is still a work in progress -- the video is only a simulation.

The latter half of the new animation offers another vision of a hypothetical: rocket boosters being returned safely to floating landing pads. In other words, the new video is bookended by two of the most vital features of SpaceX's future business plans.

While SpaceX's heavy-lift rocket -- which will feature three Falcon 9 boosters, two on either side of the main shaft -- is currently in development (with hope that it could eventually power trips to Mars and the moon), the aerospace company has already tried landing its single first stage booster back on a platform in the middle of the Atlantic.

So far, those attempts have been unsuccessful, but CEO Elon Musk says his engineers are closer and closer to executing the feat. Musk was optimistic earlier this month, after their latest attempt crash landed.

Rocket made it to drone spaceport ship, but landed hard. Close, but no cigar this time. Bodes well for the future tho.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 10, 2015

Perhaps more important than a building a heavy-lift rocket that can carry more stuff into outer space ("the world's most powerful rocket"), perfecting reusable rocket technology would a game-changer the profitability in the private aerospace industry.

SpaceX's next attempt to return a rocket booster safely to the Earth's surface will take place on February 8, when the company's regular Falcon 9 rocket will send a weather satellite into orbit for NOAA and NASA.

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Elon Musk says SpaceX using electric rockets is 'impossible' after 'Simpsons' episode
Hawthorne, Calif. (UPI) Jan 26, 2015
Elon Musk took to Twitter Sunday to refute the idea that SpaceX could be using electric rockets, as The Simpsons implied in a recent episode. "For a man who likes electric cars, he sure burns a lot of rocket fuel," Lisa says in an episode featuring Musk while he's jetting away. Musk learned of this and tweeted that if anyone saw the episode and wonders why SpaceX doesn't use elec ... read more

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