Elon Musk Shares Animation of Tesla Roadster Launching into Space on Falcon Heavy Rocket
Elon Musk did it. He sent his Falcon Heavy rocket off to Mars with his Tesla Roadster as the payload. Well, he did all of this in animated form prior to tomorrow's launch.
In preparation for Tuesday's long-awaited launch, Musk shared an animated rendering of the Falcon Heavy successfully taking off. Should tomorrow's launch at 1:30 p.m. EDT be a success, it will make the Falcon Heavy the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two, according to SpaceX.
Here's what other details SpaceX said in a statement about the video:
"With the ability to lift into orbit nearly 64 metric tons (141,000 lb)---a mass greater than a 737 jetliner loaded with passengers, crew, luggage and fuel--Falcon Heavy can lift more than twice the payload of the next closest operational vehicle, the Delta IV Heavy, at one-third the cost.
"Falcon Heavy's first stage is composed of three Falcon 9 nine-engine cores whose 27 Merlin engines together generate more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff, equal to approximately eighteen 747 aircraft.
"Following liftoff, the two side boosters separate from the center core and return to landing sites for future reuse. The center core, traveling further and faster than the side boosters, also returns for reuse, but lands on a drone ship located in the Atlantic Ocean.
"At max velocity the Roadster will travel 11 km/s (7mi/s) and travel 400 million km (250 million mi) from Earth."
And yes, Musk seems intent on making sure his midnight cherry Tesla Roadster will be the payload. It's yet to be determined if David Bowie's Space Oddity will be playing, but we wouldn't be surprised if he had something planned.
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
But why the Roadster exactly? In responses to his followers, Musk simply said, "I love the thought of a car drifting apparently endlessly through space and perhaps being discovered by an alien race millions of years into the future."
We'll see if Musk sees his dreams -- and this video -- realized tomorrow. The Falcon Heavy is scheduled to launch between 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. from the Kennedy Space Center on the historic Launch Complex 39A.