Every time the lottery gets to new heights, we all play the same game. What would you do if you had millions of dollars? Some answers are responsible, like paying off the mortgage or putting the kids through college. Other answers are a little out there, like buying a private island. If you’re Elon Musk and you have not only loads of money but companies that build rockets and cars, then you use your millions to launch your Tesla into space.
SpaceX is Musk’s rocket company and it plans to launch its Falcon Heavy rocket on Tuesday. Launch is set to happen at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Falcon Heavy can manage payloads up to 119,000 pounds, which is twice what its nearest competitor can manage. If it’s successful, this will be the biggest and most powerful rocket launch since NASA’s Saturn V rocket launch back in 1973.
For its first flight, Musk decided to give it some very special cargo and create a little cross-promotional magic. He’s launching his personal Tesla Roadster.
Musk even uploaded a photo of his cherry-red roadster being prepped, complete with a dummy in a spacesuit behind the wheel. Even that spacesuit is a bit of marketing since it’s a SpaceX prototype.
The caption “Starman in Red Roadster” references his plan to play the David Bowie song Space Oddity continuously while the capsule is in orbit. Although it’s carrying only a dummy today, the hope is to one day use Falcon Heavy to transport humans into space.
The launch of Falcon Heavy has met with delays and there is the possibility it might not be successful. Originally it was set for launch last summer, but it kept being pushed back. Now, it looks to be happening, but this is no small feat.
Building and launching a rocket this big is a challenge and Musk has acknowledged that it might not go off without a hitch. Either way, his Tesla Roadster looks ready to go.
If everything goes as planned then Musk’s personal car will end up floating around in deep space. If things don’t go as planned, it will still end up in deep space, just possibly in very many small and unidentifiable pieces.