SpaceX CEO Elon Musk's ambitious project was successful as the world's most powerful rocket, SpaceX's Falcon Heavy, blasted off on Tuesday. The rocket carries cherry red Tesla roadster toward an orbit near Mars.
The car was outfitted with a high-data storage unit containing Isaac Asimov's science fiction book series, the Foundation Trilogy, and a plaque bearing the names of 6,000 SpaceX employees.
It was initially designed to restore the possibility of sending humans to the Moon or Mars, but those plans have shifted and now the Falcon Heavy is being considered mainly as a potential equipment carrier to these deep space destinations, Musk said.
Loaded with Musk's red Tesla and a mannequin in a spacesuit, the monster rocket's historic test voyage has captured the world's imagination.
SpaceX's Falcon Heavy
The world's most powerful rocket, SpaceX's Falcon Heavy, has blasted off on its highly anticipated maiden test flight, carrying CEO Elon Musk's cherry red Tesla roadster toward an orbit near Mars.
Printed on the circuit board of a car in deep space
Apparently, there is a car in orbit around Earth. Shortly after the launch, Musk tweeted out a live camera shot of the dummy, called "Starman" after the David Bowie song that could be heard playing toward the end of the launch.
Starman in Red Roadster
Elon Musk says, "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."
View from SpaceX Launch Control
View from SpaceX Launch Control. Apparently, there is a car in orbit around Earth