Elon Musk is actually moving forward with a plan to launch a Tesla Roadster to Mars, in an eyebrow-raising announcement.
Elon Musk’s space agency SpaceX continues to grow in stature, and Musk seems to have no shortage of ambitious plans for his company. Now, he’s moving forward with something a little bit more offbeat by announcing plans to launch a Tesla Roadster to Mars in the coming years.
The tech billionaire plans to send the cherry red car on his Falcon Heavy rocket when it launches next month in Cape Canaveral. In addition, the car will be playing David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” on loop on its trip to the Red Planet, for a reason that Musk could only describe as “I love the thought of a car drifting through space and perhaps being discovered by an alien race millions of years in the future,” according to news reports.
Initially, Musk had only come up with the idea as a joke to post on Twitter, but now he’s going to go through with it, it appears. This launch will be a test flight of a new rocket that could one day send man to Mars, but Musk found it too boring to simply send it up with large blocks to simulate mass, and thought a Roadster would be a more fun idea.
“When Falcon Heavy lifts off in 2018, it will be the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two,” SpaceX describes the rocket on its website. “With the ability to lift into orbit over 54 metric tons (119,000 lb)–a mass equivalent to a 737 jetliner loaded with passengers, crew, luggage and fuel–Falcon Heavy can lift more than twice the payload of the next closest operational vehicle, the Delta IV Heavy, at one-third the cost. Falcon Heavy draws upon the proven heritage an reliability of Falcon 9. Its first stage is composed of three Falcon 9 nine-engine cores whose 27 Merlin engines together generate more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff, equal to approximately eighteen 747 aircraft. Only the Saturn V moon rocket, last flown in 1973, delivered more payload to orbit. Falcon Heavy was designed from the outset to carry humans into space and restores the possibility of flying missions with crew to the Moon or Mars.”