Elon Musk's SpaceX recently released a video with animation of how their re-usable Falcon Heavy rocket works.
The video shows how the rocket will carry its cargo to space, release that cargo and then return back to Earth, ready for its next use. In this clip, the booster (which is actually three first-stage boosters) launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
Most impressively, though, the animation shows how those three boosters turn around and fly back to their launch pads.
Although the rocket isn't quite there yet, the video shows SpaceX's vision and, given the company's reputation, it also shows the future of space exploration technology. The capability of using rockets more than once will change the entire industry, making space journeys easier and less expensive.
Eventually, these rockets will carry people to the surface of Mars, where Musk hopes to have a colony set up by 2026, nearly 10 years before NASA's first planned manned mission to the red planet.
The Falcon Heavy rocket is one of the most powerful rockets in the world, capable of carrying heavy loads, including hundreds of people, cargo and fuel.
SpaceX recently tested its Falcon 9 rocket by landing it on a barge. Not all went according to plan, though, as the rocket exploded upon impact. However, SpaceX had not expected the rocket to have a perfect landing, and as this is the first of many tests, the company still sees the landing as a success, as they did actually land a rocket on a barge for the first time in history.
Musk later stated that engineers now understood what went wrong with that landing: the fins of the booster ran out of hydraulic fluid, causing it to tip over and crash. After that, fluid leaked, resulting in the explosion. The company plans on trying the landing again soon.
Upcoming flight already has 50% more hydraulic fluid, so should have plenty of margin for landing attempt next month.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 10, 2015
The next Falcon 9 landing could happen in February 2014 as the rocket takes the NOAA's Deep Space Climate Observatory into Earth's orbit. The observatory will monitor solar winds, along with other space weather phenomenon, to more accurately predict weather forecasts on Earth.