falcon heavy rocket tesla roadster dummy

Elon Musk/Instagram

Elon Musk is sending a dummy astronaut to space on the Falcon Heavy

SpaceX's largest rocket will lift off on Feb. 6.


Phillip Tracy


Posted on Feb 5, 2018   Updated on May 22, 2021, 2:05 am CDT

SpaceX is putting the finishing touches on the Falcon Heavy rocket in preparation for the big launch on Tuesday.

From what we know, everything is in order for the rocket’s maiden voyage. A few months ago, we learned the Falcon Heavy’s first payload would be Elon Musk’s “midnight cherry” Tesla Roadster playing David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” on repeat. Musk then showed the massive rocket sitting upright on the launch pad and later live-streamed an impressive static fire test.


But it now appears there’s one last piece to the puzzle: a dummy driver wearing SpaceX’s new in vogue spacesuit. Yes, this is a literal dummy payload. While we’re not certain the dummy is headed for space, Musk posted three photos on Instagram of the fake astronaut sitting in his Tesla Roadster. The suit its wearing is designed for in-vehicle use as a way to protect people from a loss of pressure within the interiors of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, the vehicle meant to take people to and from the International Space Station.

Of course, this wouldn’t be a proper Musk tease if it didn’t include a few Easter eggs. The dummy is fittingly named Starman, a reference to another David Bowie song. And if you look closely at the dashboard in the final image, you can see a mini replica of the astronaut sitting in the Roadster. As some users have pointed out, the astronaut has a certain resemblance to “The Stig” from Top Gear, though we doubt it’s a nod to the show given the history it has with Musk.

When it launches, the 3-million-pound Falcon Heavy will be the most powerful operational rocket in the world. Only the Saturn V rocket, last flown in 1973, could deliver more payload to orbit.

Musk confirmed the Falcon Heavy will launch during a three-hour window starting at 1:30pm ET on Tuesday, Feb 6. To watch the launch on your computer or smartphone, tune in to SpaceX’s Facebook page or YouTube channel.

Share this article
*First Published: Feb 5, 2018, 8:45 am CST