SpaceX Falcon Heavy Launch Happening Now

Tesla reports big loss, matches Wall Street revenue expectations, says Model 3 still delayed

The successful test launch marked a key turning point in Musk's privately owned Space Exploration Technologies, which stands to gain a new edge over the handful of rivals vying for lucrative contracts with NASA, satellite companies and the US military. SpaceX has confirmed the Elon Musk's personal Tesla Roadster is onboard the rocket, along with a dummy wearing the prototype SpaceX space suit.

Around 3:45 pm ET, the world's most powerful rocket took off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The rocket is carrying Elon Musk's midnight-cherry-red Tesla Roadster out to Mars orbit, though its uppermost stage now has to coast through intense radiation fields around Earth's magnetic Van Allen belt.

Thousands of onlookers could be heard cheering through SpaceX's livestream.

In the run up to launch, it wasn't at all clear whether the rocket would work.

More news: New York Mets reach agreement with Todd Frazier

About two and a half minutes after launch, the two side boosters on the rocket detached and headed back to Earth. That occurred seemingly without a hitch.

The successful liftoff is a key turning point in Silicon Valley entrepreneur Musk's privately owned Space Exploration Technologies, which stands to gain a new edge over the handful of rivals vying for lucrative contracts with Nasa, satellite companies and the USA military.

SpaceX successfully launched its Falcon Heavy rocket into space on Tuesday. This is the first test of the Falcon Heavy, and is meant to be a demonstration to see if the rocket can put a payload into orbit.

Whether the vehicle makes it onto its planned trajectory will not become clear for several more hours, SpaceX said. The new heavy-lift rocket is essentially constructed from three Falcon 9s harnessed together side-by-side.

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