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Website tracks Tesla Roadster's location during road trip through space

Website tracks Tesla Roadster's location during road trip through space

In its most recent launch, the fairing protected Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster and Starman so they could jet off through space.

The company run by celebrity rocket man Elon Musk hopes to send up its Falcon 9 on Wednesday morning after twice delaying the launch over the weekend. It now wants to reuse the rocket fairing which it's going to capture with a net boat called "Mr. Steven".

The Hawthorne-based company tweeted Saturday, however, that the team needed more time for final inspections, targeting a Wednesday launch.

The megarocket blasted off from the launchpad at Cape Canaveral on February 6, carrying Musk's cherry red Tesla Roadster on a journey to Mars.

For those who are unaware, a rocket fairing is the shell you see at the top of the rocket which protects the cargo that's being launched.

During a launch last December, the rocket spewed a spectacular plume of exhaust which was lit up by the sunrise.

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Paz won't be riding alone on the recycled Falcon 9.

SpaceX plans to launch another Falcon 9 rocket (pictured) from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Southern California on Wednesday. The estimated cost of Falcon 9 launch is now at around $63 million, assuming total expendable configuration, so cutting a potential $6 million from that total, on top of reusable booster benefits, could be significant. Martin Elvis from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics believes that the Falcon Heavy rocket can manage to land the equipment easily on an asteroid, though it also depends on a lot of other factors.

The rocket fairing costs in the neighborhood of $6 Million USD, so getting more than one use out of that specific rocket part could conceivably drive SpaceX launch costs - which are already pretty ridiculously low - even lower.

SpaceX recovered a payload fairing for the first time in 2017.

The Falcon 9 rocket will also carry a second payload of note: two experimental non-geostationary orbit satellites, Microsat-2a and -2b. On February 21, the Falcon 9 will deploy SpaceX's own set of Starlink satellites, Microsat 1a and 1b that aims to provide low-priced internet globally. The network would operate at "fiber-like speeds", especially for individual households and small businesses, according to testimony from Patricia Cooper, SpaceX vice president of government affairs, during a Senate committee hearing in October.


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