Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced the launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket on Twitter back in December. He also revealed that his cherry red Tesla Roadster will serve as payload for the test flight. Just in case we didn’t believe him, he went so far as to post a picture of a Roadster mounted to a pedestal inside the payload fairing. Now, the rocket is set to launch on February 6, beginning the Roadster’s very, very long journey in space.
Aiming for first flight of Falcon Heavy on Feb 6 from Apollo launchpad 39A at Cape Kennedy. Easy viewing from the public causeway.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 27, 2018
According to Musk, the Roadster will be locked in Mars orbit for 1 billion years and will play David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” for as long as it can. That, of course, will only happen if the car doesn’t blow up on ascent. It’s an odd choice to hurl your personal car into space, but Musk contends sending up the usual payload like concrete or steel blocks would be “boring.”
A Red Car for the Red Planet Test flights of new rockets usually contain mass simulators in the form of concrete or steel blocks. That seemed extremely boring. Of course, anything boring is terrible, especially companies, so we decided to send something unusual, something that made us feel. The payload will be an original Tesla Roadster, playing Space Oddity, on a billion year elliptic Mars orbit.
SpaceX says the new Falcon Heavy is the most powerful operational rocket in the world. It should be able to lift into orbit more than 119,000 pounds, or the mass equivalent to a 737 jetliner filled with passengers, luggage, and fuel. The rocket was built with the intention of sending humans into space, fitting in with the company’s goal of allowing people to live on other planets someday.