Elon Musk isn't joking about sending a Tesla to Mars

06 December, 2017, 00:19 | Author: Lucy Floyd
  • Future Business

In what can only be described as "the freaky news of the day", Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla has announced that the next SpaceX mission rocket will carry a very unique payload - his own first generation Tesla Roadster.

Some rich men buy a red sports auto when they hit middle age.

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy, its most powerful reusable rocket to date, will have its first and long-delayed launch with Musk's cherry-red Tesla Roadster in January.

However, SpaceX (and Tesla electric car) founder Elon Musk says he wants to use the debut flight to launch his own "midnight cherry red" Tesla Roadster into space.

It might sound like Musk has lost the plot, but ArsTechnica was able to confirm that the SpaceX founder really intends to send an electric auto into space. Only the Saturn V moon rocket, last flown in 1973, delivered more payload to orbit.

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The auto "will be in deep space for a billion years or so if it doesn't blow up on ascent", Musk wrote. Company executives previously spoke of how hard it is to build such a large rocket-powered by three Falcon 9 cores, meaning it has thrice the thrust of original Falcon 9.

It will launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The proposed roadster trip falls more into line with other whimsical first launch payloads, such as the return cargo of the first Dragon flight in 2010 including a wheel of Gruyere cheese.

Considering the scale of his plans, launching a few electric cars into Mars' orbit doesn't seem too far-fetched. "The capabilities gained by a heavy lift vehicle like this one will help open the solar system to even more exploration".

SpaceX now flies its Falcon 9 rocket for customers that include Nasa, commercial satellite operators, and the USA military. The probe could take pictures better than ones from Earth telescopes, similar to the recent NASA flyby mission of Pluto.

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