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Elon Musk really is sending his car to Mars

Posted on Friday, 29 December, 2017 | Comment icon 36 comments

Yes, this car really is going to be sent up in to space. Image Credit: SpaceX / Elon Musk
The SpaceX CEO has posted up images of his Tesla Roadster mounted inside the rocket's nose cone.
When Musk announced recently that the first ever launch of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket would be carrying his own car up in to space, it was difficult to tell whether or not he was actually serious.

Based on these latest photographs however, we can assume that he wasn't joking around.

"Test flights of new rockets usually contain mass simulators in the form of concrete or steel blocks," he wrote on Instagram this week. "That seemed extremely boring. ... We decided to send something unusual, something that made us feel."

If everything goes to plan, the midnight cherry Tesla Roadster will be placed 'on a billion year elliptic Mars orbit', meaning that it will be on an orbital path around the Sun that will take it close to Mars.

"This is a low-energy orbit; that is, it takes the least amount of energy to put something in this orbit from Earth," said astronomer Phil Plait. "That makes sense for a first flight."

The launch is due to take place sometime next month.

"Will be in deep space for a billion years or so if it doesn't blow up on ascent," said Musk.

"Guaranteed to be exciting, one way or another."

A post shared by Elon Musk (@elonmusk) on

Source: USA Today | Comments (36)

Tags: SpaceX, Falcon Heavy

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #27 Posted by Peter B on 31 December, 2017, 4:35
1. Falcon 9 launches already include plenty of cameras. I doubt this launch will be any different. And given that a payload of "a hi res camera" doesn't exactly stretch the payload capacity of the Falcon Heavy, why not add some high-visibility ballast like, say, a Tesla car? 2. Why would I want to repeat a statement that isn't true? The only person who's saying that Musk is putting a car into orbit around Mars is you. 3. Musk has already downplayed the likelihood of "success" for this mission (by which I assume we're talking about putting the car into solar orbit). Remember the bit about hopin... [More]
Comment icon #28 Posted by fred_mc on 31 December, 2017, 7:19
It says that it is his own car they are sending. It is a like he is saying: "Look at me, I'm so rich so I can blow my luxury car to pieces without caring about it."
Comment icon #29 Posted by Jon the frog on 31 December, 2017, 15:14
That's a huge rocket, i was thinking that the car would be upright but it's practically flat on top, lol
Comment icon #30 Posted by schroedingerscat on 1 January, 2018, 2:47
Waspie_Dwarf is right, this is Elon's rocket, it's his car, and it's a TEST flight.  If he wants to substitute his car for the customary steel or concrete slabs, that is his prerogative.  Makes me think about the opening scene to the 'Heavy Metal' movie, when the astronaut returns to earth in what appeared to be an early model Corvette roadster, to the tune of 'Radar Rider' by Riggs... man, am I getting old.
Comment icon #31 Posted by Derek Willis on 1 January, 2018, 9:54
How can't you grasp what is going on here? For the nth time this is a TEST launch, and so the money HAS to be spent. The flight is providing publicity for Space-X and Tesla Cars. Some day we will all be driving around in electric vehicles, and Tesla will have paid a huge role in that. So rather than spend millions on television commercials to promote Tesla, Musk is taking advantage of the publicity he can derive from a test launch of a rocket. Makes absolute sense to me.
Comment icon #32 Posted by Derek Willis on 1 January, 2018, 16:47
The payload for the first test-flight of the Falcon 9 in 2010 was a "ground test version" of the Dragon capsule. In other words, it was a piece of hardware that had done it's job and would have otherwise been put in a warehouse. Once in orbit the capsule remained attached to the upper stage of the Falcon 9, and so didn't do anything. Hence, it was a dummy payload - just like the dummy payloads used on the test flights of all rockets. I guess there was an exception. The first launch of the space shuttle included the astronauts John Young and Robert Crippen. During an interview after the flight,... [More]
Comment icon #33 Posted by UFOwatcher on 4 January, 2018, 3:22
Dude, I forgot where I parked my car....
Comment icon #34 Posted by Peter B on 4 January, 2018, 12:23
Don't worry, Spacex and Tesla are just trying out their new valet parking service. Your car will be back in the vicinity of Earth in about (checks watch) 650 days.
Comment icon #35 Posted by AZDZ on 4 January, 2018, 19:18
Exactly what I thought of as well. Here's a modern update of the classic scene.  
Comment icon #36 Posted by Mr Supertypo on 8 January, 2018, 18:15
Personally im fashinated by this. Imagine for a moment if he really pull this off. The future generations eons from now they will be able to admire this and put it in the same league a stonehenge, the colosseum or the piramids. Imo money could not be spent better :-D

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