Musk Parks His Tesla In Orbit

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SpaceX will launch its first Falcon Heavy rocket early in the new year and founder Elon Musk is betting the eternal resting place of his personal cherry-red Tesla Roadster on the successful outcome of the test flight. His daily driver will be the payload on the rocket, SpaceX’s most powerful to date, and if all goes well it will be parked in orbit around Mars for “a billion years.” And if it doesn’t go well? “Guaranteed to be exciting, one way or another,” he said in the first of two tweets. “Destination is Mars orbit. Will be in deep space for a billion years or so if it doesn’t blow up on ascent.”

The Falcon Heavy has 27 Merlin rocket engines and the first static test firing all of them at once is scheduled for before the end of the year. If that works, the Tesla launch will go ahead within weeks. The launch will take place at the Kennedy Space Center where SpaceX has leased one of the former Apollo and Space Shuttle launch pads for 20 years. The Falcon Heavy will be used for heavy-lift missions for private and military customers and is scheduled to launch two private citizens for a trip around the moon sometime next year.

Comments (5)

Seriously dumb idea. Now we are sending junkers into space?

Posted by: MICHAEL BROOKER | December 4, 2017 11:36 AM    Report this comment

It can't be a junker because it is an eco friendly electric car. If you have enough $ you can not oly trash the earth, you can trash the galaxy.

Posted by: Leo LeBoeuf | December 4, 2017 11:48 AM    Report this comment

The proper term is "ballast".

Musk could build a boilerplate spacecraft, loaded up with water or pig iron, to keep the whole stack in balance.

Or he could stick one of his cars on top.

Which would get better press?

Posted by: Kirk Wennerstrom | December 5, 2017 12:46 PM    Report this comment

It will also be the fastest automobile in the solar system:)

Posted by: April Talmadge | December 5, 2017 5:50 PM    Report this comment

I agree that this is a seriously dumb idea. With thousands of orbiting objects being tracked, including space-junk, which create collision threats that often have to be mitigated by burning fuel (a very limited resource) to alter orbits, putting objects into orbit that serve no practical purpose is a seriously ill conceived idea. For tax payer funded/subsidized satellites, altering orbit costs us money. When fuel is exhausted, and orbits can no longer be modified to avoid collisions, it costs a great deal more to replace the asset in orbit. I would like to see this 'bad idea' abandoned, and also hope that this idea is not the beginning of a trend. I wouldn't mind seeing a legislative remedy against such foolishness.

Posted by: RAY MONTAGNE | December 6, 2017 1:30 PM    Report this comment

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