An anonymous reader quotes Ars Technica:
Previously, SpaceX founder Elon Musk has said he intends to launch the “silliest thing we can imagine” on the maiden launch of the Falcon Heavy. This is partly because the rocket is experimental — there is a non-trivial chance the rocket will explode on the launch pad, or shortly after launch. It is also partly because Musk is a master showman who knows attention. On Friday evening, Musk tweeted what that payload would be — his “midnight cherry Tesla Roadster.”

And the car will be playing Space Oddity, by David Bowie; the song which begins, “Ground Control to Major Tom.” Oh, and the powerful Falcon Heavy rocket will send the Tesla into orbit around Mars. “Will be in for a billion years or so if it doesn’t blow up on ascent,” Musk added. Ars was able to confirm Friday night from a company source that this is definitely a legitimate payload. Earlier on Friday, Musk also said the Falcon Heavy launch would come “next month” from Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, meaning in January.
“No private company has launched a spacecraft beyond low-Earth orbit, let alone to another planet,” according to the article, adding that SpaceX’s new rocket “could play a major role in any plans the agency has to send humans to the Moon.” In addition, Musk added on Twitter, “Red car for a red planet.”

UPDATE (12/2/17): Saturday Elon Musk told The Verge that he “totally made it up” about sending a Tesla Roadster to Mars. Then in “multiple emails” to Ars Technica — sent Saturday afternoon — “Musk confirmed that this plan is, indeed, real.”


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