If one thing’s for sure, it’s that when Elon Musk says he’s going to do something, he’s going to do it.
On Dec. 1, the billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, announced his intention to launch his Tesla Roadster into space – specifically into Mars orbit. Musk said he planned to strap his red convertible atop a payload adapter on SpaceX’s huge new rocket, called the Falcon Heavy.
“Falcon Heavy to launch next month from Apollo 11 pad at the Cape [Canaveral],” Musk tweeted at the time. “Payload will be my midnight cherry Tesla Roadster playing Space Oddity.”
The announcement was reasonably met with skepticism. But Musk – who founded the space exploration firm in 2002, one year before he launched Tesla – is a man of his word.
Friday, Musk took to Instagram to post photos of his first generation Roadster affixed to the payload.
“Test flights of new rockets usually contain mass simulators in the form of concrete or steel blocks. That seemed extremely boring,” Musk wrote. “Of course, anything boring is terrible, especially companies, so we decided to send something unusual, something that made us feel.”
A Red Car for the Red Planet Test flights of new rockets usually contain mass simulators in the form of concrete or steel blocks. That seemed extremely boring. Of course, anything boring is terrible, especially companies, so we decided to send something unusual, something that made us feel. The payload will be an original Tesla Roadster, playing Space Oddity, on a billion year elliptic Mars orbit.
Musk noted his electric sports car “will be in deep space for a billion years or so if it doesn’t blow up on ascent.”
The exact date of the launch isn’t clear, though SpaceX previously said it is targeting “early January.” The plan was to launch before the new year, but a series of delays pushed it back.
If the flight is successful, it will be a major milestone for SpaceX and the spaceflight industry.