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On Feb. 6, SpaceX made history when, for the first time, they launched the Falcon Heavy rocket. National Geographic was there during the launch, alongside SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who was understandably excited. In preparation for the second season of MARS, which is returning to Nat Geo this fall, a camera crew followed Musk and the crew around for the day of the launch.
“Holy flying f–k, that thing took off,” Musk exclaimed, according to Nat Geo. Moments later, he and SpaceX staffers ran out the door of the launch control center and looked up. “Look at that! That’s unreal!” Musk cried out.
The Falcon Heavy launch is a milestone for private companies’ journey into space. The rocket is huge, and can lift 141,000 pounds into low-Earth orbit. There is only one rock, NASA’s Saturn V rocket, which carried astronauts to the moon, that has lifted more than high. SpaceX announced its intention to build the Falcon Heavy in 2011, and it was not guaranteed to not blow up or mess up in some way during the launch. There is still work to be done, but above all, Musk’s takeaway from the test flight was that the and his roughly 7,000 employees had pulled off something absolutely extraordinary. Check out Nat Geo’s footage of Musk below.