SpaceX launch: Elon Musk to send Tesla car to SPACE in most powerful rocket EVER | Science | News

Launching at 18.30GMT (13.30 local time) from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, SpaceX will fire up its heaviest and most powerful rocket to date.

Rather than carrying a customers’ payload, the Falcon Heavy will carry a “cherry Tesla Roadster” to orbit Mars, playing David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’ on repeat. The firm said it would “be in deep space for a billion years or so if it doesn’t blow up on ascent”.

In December, SpaceX chief Elon Musk posted a series of pictures on Instagram of the red Tesla Roadster inside the Falcon Heavy.

Alongside the images, Mr Musk put: “Test flights of new rockets usually contain mass simulators in the form of concrete or steel blocks.

“That seemed extremely boring. Of course, anything boring is terrible, especially companies, so we decided to send something unusual, something that made us feel.

“The payload will be an original Tesla Roadster, playing Space Oddity, on a billion-year elliptic Mars orbit.”

Mr Musk posted an image of a dummy in a SpaceX space suit, alongside the caption “Starman in Red Roadster”.

The rocket has 2,500 tons of thrust, equal to 18 Boeing 747 aircraft at full throttle and is twice as powerful as the world’s next most powerful rocket.

The Falcon Heavy will be capable of carrying up to 140,000 pounds of cargo and if the flight today is successful, once the rocket is in space, it will release the car which will orbit the sun for eternity.

However, Mr Musk has admitted there is a significant chance that the Falcon Heavy rocket test could fail.

Speaking of the rocket in July, he said: “I hope it makes it far enough away from the pad that it does not cause pad damage.

“I would consider even that a win, to be honest.”

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