Elon Musk plans to lunch his own cherry red Tesla Roadster into a “billion year elliptic Mars orbit” in the first test of the giant SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket in January.
Musk tweeted an image of the roadster inside the payload faring of the giant rocket on Friday afternoon, just hours before the launch of a standard Falcon 9 rocket lit up the sky over Southern California and caused many to suspect aliens.
The Falcon Heavy will be the largest rocket launched since the Saturn 5 moon rockets nearly 50 years ago.
“Test flights of new rockets usually contain mass simulators in the form of concrete or steel blocks. That seemed extremely boring,” said Musk. “Of course, anything boring is terrible, especially companies, so we decided to send something unusual, something that made us feel.”
So, he tweeted, “The payload will be an original Tesla Roadster, playing Space Oddity, on a billion year elliptic Mars orbit.”
The Roadster was the first car produced by Tesla, the electric car company also founded by Musk.
The Falcon Heavy built in Hawthorne is essentially three Falcon 9 boosters strapped together. It is capable of lifting the weight equivalent of a fully loaded Boeing 737 jetliner into orbit.
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