There’s no secret that Elon Musk is an innovator when it comes to technology and space travel. With the combination of Tesla and SpaceX, Musk has contributed to major advances in both the future of electric cars and in our ability to explore the universe. In a bizarre intersection of the two unrelated companies, Elon Musk’s electric car, the powerful Tesla Roadster, is set to be launched into orbit around Mars in the upcoming expedition from SpaceX.
Tesla Roadster On Mars
The Chief Executive of SpaceX has recently state that when the company’s rocket launches in January, the “payload will be my midnight cherry Roadster…[The] destination is Mars orbit. [It] will be in deep space for a billion years or so if it doesn’t blow up on ascent.”
A supercar like the Tesla Roadster floating around in outer space is an interesting way in which Tesla and SpaceX could be so significant that they potentially outlive humanity.
The billionaire owner has a history of tweeting out information that is so unexpected that people can’t tell whether he’s serious or joking, but this statement seems pretty legitimate. SpaceX confirmed last night that this will actually happen, but there’s thus far no set date for the launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida.
The Falcon Heavy Rocket is an engineering marvel, designed to carry crew and supplies to various deep space destinations like the moon and Mars. With the capability to propel 54 metric tons — roughly the weight of a full Boeing 737 jet — into space, the inclusion Elon Musk’s electric car doesn’t seem that outlandish. This weight is two times the capacity of the Delta IV Heavy, the biggest rocket currently in operation. WIth 27 engines, it’s no wonder that the Falcon Heavy Rocket is packing some serious power.
Elon Musk’s electric car isn’t sure to make it to orbit, however, and the CEO has realistic expectations:
“Just bear in mind that there is a good chance this monster rocket blows up, so I wouldn’t put anything of irreplaceable sentimental value on it.”
SpaceX Launch Date
Back in September, SpaceX revealed the designs for a rocket capable of traveling between planets within our solar system, with the capability to be used for transport on Earth. Then, in March, the company showed that the power of a well-funded private organization can compete with national space agencies, as they launched and successfully retrieved a rocket that had been used for a previous launch. Just three months later, during one weekend, SpaceX completed two successful rocket missions.
However, despite the company’s excellent success, things don’t always go according to plan. In September of last year, a rocket carrying a satellite for Facebook exploded during a simple test. It’s clear that Elon Musk’s electric car — and the Falcon Heavy Rocket as a whole — isn’t guaranteed to make it to its destination. If there’s a company with the resources and motivation to accomplish this daunting task, however, it’s likely to be SpaceX.