Elon Musk once again demonstrated his mastery of social media management skills last week by tweeting out his plans to put a Tesla aboard a rocket bound for Mars.
The Tesla and Space X CEO tweeted: “Payload will be my midnight cherry Tesla Roadster playing Space Oddity. Destination is Mars orbit. Will be in deep space for a billion years or so if it doesn’t blow up on ascent.”
The Verge reports:
Musk has spoken openly about the non-zero chance that the Falcon Heavy will explode during its first flight, and because of that he once said he wanted stick the “silliest thing we can imagine” on top of the rocket. Now we know what he meant. It’s unclear at the time of publish whether SpaceX has received any necessary approvals for this plan.
Falcon Heavy is the followup to SpaceX’s Falcon 9. It’s a more powerful rocket that the company hopes to use for missions to the Moon and Mars. It was originally supposed to take flight back in 2013 or 2014, but its maiden flight is now pegged for January 2018, according to Musk. (The company has been testing parts of the Falcon Heavy architecture over the last year, and has been busy readying the same launchpad that the Apollo 11 mission blasted off from for this flight.)
Falcon Heavy is, in overly simple terms, three of the company’s Falcon 9 rockets strapped together. It therefore will be capable of creating around three times the thrust of a single Falcon 9 rocket, allowing SpaceX to perform missions beyond low Earth orbit.
Musk has made no secret of his plans to eventually send people to colonize Mars. Part of that ambition is born of the desire to preserve the human race. But before the rest of us go to the red planet, a red Tesla Roadster will have made the journey.