Elon Musk is sending his red Tesla Roadster to space, and he’s showing it off on Instagram. As the Inquisitr previously reported, in early December Musk tweeted that he planned to launch his personal electric vehicle into Mars’ orbit on SpaceX’s most impressive reusable rocket, The Falcon Heavy. Today, he confirmed it with seven epic photos of the Roadster being loaded into the rocket.
According to the Express, Musk had previously retracted his original promise when he said that he was not sure whether the Falcon Heavy would be able to carry the Roadster. But he erased all doubts with the photos he posted today.
As for the launch date, Space X hasn’t confirmed that as yet, the Express reports. But there’s speculation that it could be ready for takeoff in early 2018.
To be clear, the Tesla Roadster and The Falcon Heavy aren’t going to Mars; they will be near Mars. Musk told SyFy that the spacecraft will be in “a precessing Earth-Mars elliptical orbit around the sun.” This is what’s known as a “Hohmann Transfer Orbit” and it means that the spacecraft will orbit around the sun. Its farthest point will take it into Mars’ orbit.
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 also insisted that this wasn’t a cross-promotion between SpaceX and Tesla.
As SyFy notes, this isn’t the first time that SpaceX has launched something weird into space. They included a giant wheel of cheese on the first test flight of the Dragon Cargo spacecraft in 2010. The billionaire Tesla and SpaceX CEO added that he’s open to suggestions from the public on other items he could add to the rocket’s payload.
Of course, you wouldn’t want to send anything that you’re too personally attached to since, as Musk said, the rocket is likely to explode during its ascent.
So, does that mean that Elon Musk doesn’t feel any sentimental value for the Roadster he’s sending? Probably. It might be one of several hundred Teslas owned by the billionaire. Musk is an excellent showman and likely realizes the spectacular optics of a zippy, red electric sedan orbiting around the Red Planet with “Space Oddity” on the sound system. It has all the makings of a great sci-fi story.