The maiden voyage of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket will have some interesting cargo, Elon Musk revealed on Twitter last night. Musk’s own cherry red Tesla Roadster playing “Space Oddity” over its stereo system will be aboard the rocket with its final destination being Mars’ orbit. [Update: Just kidding! He made it all up. See note below.]
Musk laid it all out last night in a series of tweets, including the fact that the Roadster is probably going to be missing from Elon’s garage for billions of years:
At least Musk is realistic about the possibility of the car not making there. I’m not sure I’m sold on a pretty red car becoming orbiting space junk around Mars, but at least Mars’ orbit isn’t as cluttered as ours. (Yet.)
Musk also clarified that it will be a first-generation Roadster, and explained why the red car was going into Mars’ orbit, too:
Falcon Heavy is planned to be the most powerful rocket ever made when it hopefully launches in January 2018 (already a delay from previous launch plans), so it needed something appropriately epic to take along with it. After all, SpaceX hopes it will take them on missions to the moon and Mars. Thus, one of Musk’s other achievements—an electric car—is going along for the ride.
UPDATE [1:31 p.m.]: After sounding pretty serious about the plan on Twitter and to numerous outlets reporting on the idea, Musk told The Verge that he wasn’t serious about this after all. The Verge writes:
Musk first tweeted out the idea on Friday evening, but in an email response to our inquiry confirming the plan, Musk wrote “it’s so real.” After this story was published, Musk told us he “totally made it up.”
Was it our space junk comments, or the sad thought of living without a good red sports car? Either way, not jettisoning a car in space is probably for the best. Just make up your mind before you talk it up next time, please.