Musk wants to send his first Tesla Roadster in orbit around Mars

Musk wants to send his first Tesla Roadster in orbit around Mars

Musk wants to send his first Tesla Roadster in orbit around Mars

The Falcon Heavy is a powerful rocket, which is the follow-up to the Falcon 9.

If all goes well, Musk's little red Roadster will soon be sent soaring into the cosmos, forever enshrined in orbit around Mars. The Falcon Heavy rocket features 27 Merlin engines and boasts at least double the thrust of any other rocket on the market.

That's not all, the rocket's payload will be Musk's own cherry Tesla Roadster, which will interestingly, be playing the song Space Oddity on the journey.

Falcon Heavy is a beefed up version of the company's Falcon 9 rocket which, along with its Dragon craft capsule, has been used multiple times to bring supplies to astronauts on board the International Space Station, before safely returning to Earth.

"She will remain in space for billions of years, if not explode at the start", said Musk. Musk has confirmed that Falcon Heavy's maiden flight is now set to launch in January 2018 from Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Musk is hopeful it actually makes it up into the air, partly because his vehicle may (or may not) be part of the Falcon Heavy's initial cargo. The company pushed back Heavy's first flight a couple of times: it was originally gunning for a summer launch but eventually moved it to November (and then again to December).

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The United States, which has 28,500 troops in South Korea as a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War, denies any such intention. The North said the weapon could land anywhere in the continental USA and France said Europe was also in striking distance.

He wants to land at least two of the spacecraft on Mars in 2022 carrying equipment - and then ones transporting people in 2024.

Falcon Heavy is the followup to SpaceX's Falcon 9.

To put that figure in perspective, Spaceflight Now notes that the Falcon Heavy-at more than 229 feet tall and 3.1 million pounds-will have more thrust than any conventional rocket currently in use. Not that the first humans on Mars will be able to drive it.

But Musk has also said the rocket has a good chance of blowing up before it reaches earth orbit.

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