All eyes are on Elon Musk as his company SpaceX gets ready to launch its first Falcon Heavy rocket in Cape Canaveral, Fla. as early as tomorrow, and fellow wealthy space enthusiast Jeff Bezos is also paying attention.
Bezos, Amazon CEO and founder of his own space venture, Blue Origin, tweeted good luck to SpaceX as it prepares to launch what is designed to be the world’s most powerful operational rocket.
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) February 5, 2018
Those who fellow Bezos’ space venture will recognize the hashtag at the end, “Gradatim Frociter,” which is Latin for “Step by Step, Ferociously.” Bezos has said the phrase represents his approach to spaceflight.
“If you’re building a flying vehicle, you can’t cut any corners. If you do, it’s going to be [just] an illusion that it’s going to make it faster … You have to do it step by step, but you do want to do it ferociously.”
Should the Falcon Heavy launch prove successful it will be more than a small step in the field, which is currently being advanced by billionaire space fans like Bezos and Musk.
Musk noted that “there’s a lot that could go wrong” with the launch, which will take place at the historic Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida that previously served as the site of liftoffs for moon rockets and space shuttles. Falcon Heavy will have more capacity than any rocket since the Apollo era’s Saturn V: as much as 140,000 pounds to low Earth orbit, or 37,000 pounds to Mars, but for this run it will send Musk’s red Tesla Roadster sports car on a flight of fancy ranging out as far as the orbit of Mars.