Elon Musk, the South African business mogul behind Tesla and Space X, and one of the greatest self-promoters in the world, hand-picked the payload for the first flight of his new Falcon Heavy Rocket – a cherry-red Tesla convertible. The world’s most powerful rocket launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida on Tuesday afternoon in what is being described as a history-making event. The upper stage of the rocket made it into space, and launched its payload.
The car will now join the planets and comets and everything else in orbit around the sun. Over time, the car’s orbit is expected to bring it closer to Mars. Elon Musk told reporters in a teleconference Monday he expects the Tesla to coast comfortably in space for hundreds of millions of years.
Piloting the Tesla is a crash test dummy in a SpaceX space suit. The car speakers are blasting David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” at top volume – not that anyone can hear it. But that doesn’t seem to be the point. According to Elon, “Any other payload would have been boring.”