Space oddity: Tesla auto heading for Mars onboard first Falcon Heavy Rocket

Gwen Vasquez
December 4, 2017

Falcon Heavy is the followup to SpaceX's Falcon 9.

The rocket, known as the Falcon Heavy, will lift off from Cape Canaveral, using the same launchpad as Apollo 11, Musk tweeted late Friday in the U.S. Will have double thrust of next largest rocket. "Guaranteed to be exciting, one way or another". The business tycoon has also divulged that Falcon 9's more powerful sibling will carry his personal midnight cherry Tesla Roadster to space. Saudi Arabia also announced a $1bn investment in Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic, The Spaceship Company and Virgin Orbit with the aim of creating a space-centric entertainment industry. "Will be in deep space for a billion years or so if it doesn't blow up on the ascent".

Reporters at The Verge followed-up with Musk to confirm that he was actually planning to launch his auto into up into space, and that's where things get peculiar.

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Following reports that time was up for the dispatch in 2017 - it had initially been a plan for November - SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has apparently affirmed that it will happen at some point in December. However, The Verge has also spoken to someone allegedly close to the project, who confirms that the payload is in fact real: Musk's Tesla Roadster is going to tour the galaxy. Not anymore, as he just revealed what might be Falcon Heavy's first payload. Musk has confirmed that Falcon Heavy's maiden flight is now set to launch in January 2018 from Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The internet wasn't sure what to make of Musk's tweet at first. This is not the first time SpaceX has put something odd into launch payload: in 2010, the company's first Dragon capsule was launched with a wheel of cheese on board after weeks of rumours about a "secret payload". "Inspired by a friend & Monty Python".

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