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WATCH LIVE: SpaceX Launches Falcon Heavy Rocket

SpaceX via Flickr

SpaceX is gearing up to launch its Falcon Heavy rocket from Kennedy Space Center this afternoon. The rocket is the most powerful to be launched in the U.S. since the Saturn V rocket, which carried NASA’s first astronauts to the moon. SpaceX says the launch will carry the largest payload of any rocket since Saturn V in 1973.

The test launch will also carry Musk’s personal Tesla Roadster into space as payload, which will (ideally) careen into orbit around Mars while playing David Bowie's "Space Oddity." 

Credit SpaceX via YouTube

Falcon Heavy’s two rocket boosters are supposed to return to Earth and land at Cape Canaveral, while its core rocket is s return and land on a SpaceX drone landing pad in the Atlantic Ocean.

Credit SpaceX via YouTube

Musk told reporters yesterday that, while the launch offers an opportunity to collect operational data, the mission's success isn't a lock.

"It's guaranteed to be exciting one way or another," Musk said. "It's either going to be an exciting success, or an exciting failure."

Watch a livestream of the launch below.

Andrew Weber is a general assignment reporter for KUT, focusing on criminal justice, policing, courts and homelessness in Austin and Travis County. Got a tip? You can email him at Follow him on Twitter @England_Weber.
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