Cars Why a Tesla Roadster is heading into space

12:40  08 january  2018
12:40  08 january  2018 Source:   carmagazine.co.uk

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Never knowingly under-hyped, Tesla chief Elon Musk has come up with a new publicity stunt: he's sending an original Noughties Tesla Roadster into space .

Home Car News Industry News Tesla Why a Tesla Roadster is heading into space . ► Original Tesla Roadster blasts into space ► Falcon Heavy rocket sends EV into orbit ► Convertible makes up ballast on spacecraft.

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 Original Tesla Roadster on a rocket

 SpaceX mission sends EV into space

 Convertible will be sent to orbit Mars

Never knowingly under-hyped, Tesla chief Elon Musk has come up with a new publicity stunt: he's sending an original Noughties Tesla Roadster into space. It's as part of his SpaceX mission to Mars, and the early electric sports car will form part of the ballast on board the rocket.

(Slideshow provided by Business Insider)

a red car parked on the side of a building: <li><strong>Elon Musk said on December 1 that he'd launch his old red Tesla Roadster toward Mars.</strong></li><li><strong>While Musk said he was serious, doubts have lingered.</strong></li><li><strong>But on Friday, Musk posted a photo to Instagram of the Tesla inside a rocket nosecone.</strong></li><li><strong>The rocket is SpaceX's brand-new Falcon Heavy launcher, scheduled to fly in January.</strong></li><p><br> In a series of tweets on December 1, Elon Musk, the tech billionaire who founded SpaceX, said he planned to launch a Tesla electric car <a href= to Mars orbit in 2018.

Musk toyed with the popular press, first by confirming his plans with The Verge, then backpedaling, then again confirming it with Ars Technica and several other media outlets.

But if Musk had left any room for doubt, it is now gone.

On Friday afternoon, he posted a striking photo on Instagram of a 2008 red Tesla Roadster sitting in the carbon-fiber fairing of a Falcon Heavy rocket - just as he had promised.

The aerospace company says the launch vehicle, the first of its kind for SpaceX, is the most powerful rocket in the world today. (The Saturn V rocket NASA used to launch astronauts to the moon has been retired since the mid-1970s.)

With enough fuel and the right trajectory, Falcon Heavy has enough thrust to launch a payload heavier than a car to Pluto, let alone Mars.

"Test flights of new rockets usually contain mass simulators in the form of concrete or steel blocks. That seemed extremely boring," Musk wrote in his Instagram post. "Of course, anything boring is terrible, especially companies, so we decided to send something unusual, something that made us feel.

"The payload will be an original Tesla Roadster, playing Space Oddity, on a billion year elliptic Mars orbit."

A serious history of silly test payloads

Earlier this week, Musk revealed photos of the first Falcon Heavy ever built inside a hangar in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The 230-foot-tall three-booster rocket is scheduled to make its maiden launch no earlier than January.

But the reusable-rocket system is noticeably missing the clamshell top, or fairing, in the images.

Musk had demanded to be taken seriously before releasing the crucial photo of that missing part, though.

For example, Musk previously said he planned to launch the "silliest thing we can imagine" on Falcon Heavy's first test flight.

And in 2010, he launched a wheel of cheese into orbit during the maiden voyage of SpaceX's Dragon spaceship.

Falcon Heavy is also up to the task: SpaceX says it can ferry a payload of 37,000 pounds - roughly 14 Tesla Roadsters' worth of mass - to Mars.

"Red car for a red planet," Musk said in a Twitter reply in early December.

The Tesla won't be going to Mars, as Musk told Phil Plait, an astronomer and writer.

Instead, Plait wrote in a post for SyFy, it's "going near Mars," specifically in what's called a Hohmann transfer orbit, a highly elliptical path that goes out to Mars orbit and back to Earth orbit on a nearly endless loop - hence the "billion year" detail from Musk.

It's unlikely the Tesla will be empty, just playing David Bowie's "Space Oddity" on repeat. Joy Dunn, an engineer at the company, tweeted on December 1, "This is legit and of course there will be cameras!"

Musk also told Plait he was willing to consider launching other objects inside the Tesla suggested by the public.

"Just bear in mind that there is a good chance this monster rocket blows up," Musk told Plait in an email. "So I wouldn't put anything of irreplaceable sentimental value on it."

Below are other photos Musk posted of the Tesla inside Falcon Heavy's fairing.

" src="/upload/images/real/2018/01/08/a-red-car-parked-on-the-side-of-a-building-li-strong-elon-musk-said-on-december-1-that-hed-launch-hi_567986_.png?content=1" /> Elon Musk is launching a Tesla Roadster to Mars orbit — and he just posted photos on Instagram to prove it

The Falcon Heavy rocket is preparing for launch in January 2018 and Musk said he thought it fitting that one of his pioneering EVs was sent into orbit.

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Being able to send large payloads into space at lower prices than competitors would help Musk's ambitions to start colonies on Mars. To demonstrate Falcon Heavy's freight-handling capabilities, Musk is using his 2008 Tesla Roadster as a test payload.

After launch, the Tesla cruised through space for a good six hours — a trip that was also live-streamed by SpaceX. But even though the Roadster won’t be venturing into the belt, it will still Android apps are heading to a whiter future with rounder rectangles A hint of what’s to come from Google’s 2018

Click here to read the full story on the new 2020 Tesla Roadster

'Test flights usually contain mass simulators in the form of concrete or steel blocks,' he said. 'That seemed extremely boring... so we decided to send something unusual.

Why a Tesla Roadster is heading into space © Bauer Media 2018 Why a Tesla Roadster is heading into space 'I love the thought of a car drifting through space and perhaps being discovered by an alien race millions of years in the future.'

David Bowie on the Tesla's stereo in space

The Tesla Roadster will be playing David Bowie's Space Oddity on the stereo, Musk added. The unmanned Falcon Heavy rocket is on the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida (above), undergoing final tests before blast-off early in the new year. It'll use the same launchpad as the Saturn V Apollo 11 moon rocket.

It's all part of SpaceX's dream to fly people and cargo to the moon and - eventually - Mars. 

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