Elon Musk has made a rather bizarre proclamation on Twitter, claiming the first launch of his new mega-rocket will be used to take his very own Tesla Roadster to Mars.
This new rocket is the Falcon Heavy, which is due to be the stronger rocket currently in operation where reference is launches. The rocket has been continuously delayed, with the latest launch date of December 2017 slipping to January 2018.
Musk has built no secret about how risky this first launching is likely to be, nonetheless. While there will be no one on board the rocket, he has repeatedly said that the Falcon Heavy may very well explode on the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center in Florida when it attempts to take off.
For that reason, there has been a lot of talk about what this rocket would actually take to space, given that there’s a decent chance it won’t work at all. And, well, that was apparently revealed in a tweet by Musk on Friday.
“Payload will be my midnight cherry-red Tesla Roadster playing Space Oddity, ” he said, perhaps referring to this auto.
“Destination is Mars orbit. Will be in deep space for a billion years or so if it doesn’t blow up on ascent.”
The tweet sparked a commotion of exhilaration, and also some disarray. People weren’t sure if Musk was joking, or if he was being serious.
He seemingly confirmed to The Verge that yes, he was mailing his Tesla to space. Then he told them he “totally constructed it up”, before afterward clarifying to other outlets that , no, he was being serious.
“Musk confirmed that this plan is, indeed, real, ” said Ars Technica. “Another SpaceX official also said the Tesla payload was very much real.”
No other details have yet been liberated, but want me talking to Phil Plait over at Syfy, Musk did say it wouldn’t quite be going to Mars. Instead, it would be placed in what’s called a Hohmann transfer orbit, which is one that simply swingings past the orbital path of Mars, and not inevitably the planet itself.
Ever the showman, this would not be the first time Musk had done something a little bit wacky with new hardware. In 2010, he placed a wheel of cheese on the first launch of SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft, a including references to Monty Python.
Putting a Tesla on a rocket and launching it to Mars is perhaps a bit more impressive, though. You can be pretty certain there’ll be some cameras on board to capture all this if it does happen, considering the cross publicity( and free advertise) it’ll dedicate both Tesla and SpaceX.
A cherry-red automobile for a Cherry-red Planet, as Musk put it.