The business magnate posted a photo album on Instagram showing his very own Tesla Roadster preparing to be sent into space. The photos come just weeks after Musk announced that the first payload of the new Falcon Heavy rocket would be his “midnight cherry” electric car.
“Payload will be my midnight cherry Tesla Roadster playing Space Oddity,” Musk wrote on Twitter. “Destination is Mars orbit. Will be in deep space for a billion years or so if it doesn’t blow up on ascent.”
Payload will be my midnight cherry Tesla Roadster playing Space Oddity. Destination is Mars orbit. Will be in deep space for a billion years or so if it doesn’t blow up on ascent.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 2, 2017
There was a lot of confusion surrounding this statement, but after poking fun at media outlets, we now have what appears to be confirmation.
Titled “A Red Car for the Red Planet,” the album of seven similar images shows a first-generation Tesla Roadster mounted to a platform within the walls of a Falcon Heavy rocket. The upcoming launch, scheduled for an early 2018 launch, will be a milestone for SpaceX. Not because of the supercar payload, but because the Falcon Heavy will finally be put to the test. The aerospace company has worked for years to create the giant spacecraft, which is essentially three Falcon 9 rockets strapped together—making it the most powerful rocket in the world.
The company needed a dummy payload to send into space since the Falcon Heavy’s first journey could very well end in an explosion. In April, Musk said he was thinking of the “silliest thing we can imagine” to place on top of the rocket. So why did he choose a Tesla Roadster? Because it made Musk “feel.”
“Test flights of new rockets usually contain mass simulators in the form of concrete or steel blocks. That seemed extremely boring,” Musk wrote on Instagram. “Of course, anything boring is terrible, especially companies, so we decided to send something unusual, something that made us feel.”