Published: Wed, December 06, 2017
Research | By Clarence Powell

Musk to Put His Personal Tesla Into Mars Orbit

Musk to Put His Personal Tesla Into Mars Orbit

This SpaceX launch slated for January will be noteworthy for reasons that go beyond the payload, a cherry-red Tesla Roadster owned by Musk.SAN FRANCISCO: Elon Musk fully intends to put a red sports auto made by a company that he runs into an enormous rocketship made by another company that he runs and then fire both into Mars orbit.

The business magnate tweeted: "Payload will be my midnight cherry Tesla Roadster playing Space Oddity".

Musk has also openly spoken about the "non-zero chance" that Falcon Heavy will explode during its first flight.

In a promissory follow-up to his plan of launching the "s$3 iliest thing we can imagine" on the first Falcon Heavy Rocket, Elon Musk launched a series of tweets on Friday night confirming that he is launching the Tesla Roadster to Mars in 2018.

Thus continues the long tradition of SpaceX's launch promotional stunts. It has nine first-stage engines, giving it the capability to complete its mission even if it loses an engine, according to SpaceX.

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"Just like the first flight of a new jumbo jet doesn't go with a full complement of passengers, it makes sense to do a launch where you can learn a lot, but the payload isn't mission-critical", University of Colorado space policy expert Phil Larson, who has worked at both SpaceX and the Office of Science and Technology Policy, told BuzzFeed News.

Larson defended sending a vehicle to Mars orbit instead of a scientific probe, saying by email: "Anytime you have a new rocket launching, you're going to learn a lot". Falcon Heavy was designed from the outset to carry humans into space and restores the possibility of flying missions with crew to the Moon or Mars.

"'Falcon Heavy" to launch next month from "Apollo 11' pad at the Cape [Cape Canaveral, Florida]".

The rocket, which uses 27 Merlin engines (in three blocks of 9 engines), will generate 5 million pounds of thrust.

The company eventually wants to create a self-sustaining city on the red planet.

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