And you better believe Bowie’s “Space Oddity” will be playing on repeat

The final countdown is now imminent. Following a successful static test, SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy is now cleared for the real thing, with liftoff scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. The payload will include a deep-red first-gen Tesla Roadster with “Starman” strapped into the driver’s seat.

Continue reading for the full story.

The Full Story

Starman in Red Roadster https://www.instagram.com/p/BezcvpzAgYI/

Posted by Elon Musk on Monday, February 5, 2018
The hope is that one day the Falcon Heavy will carry live human astronauts to Mars. But before we get there, the rocket will need to pass this next test mission with flying colors.

After a bit of a delay courtesy of last month’s brief government shutdown, the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket is back and ready to roll. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk promoted the launch through his various social media channels, posting pics and stoking the flames of space exploration enthusiasm. The mission will blast off tomorrow at 1:30 PM EST.

Output from the massive rocket is rated at over 5 million pounds of thrust, which is roughly equivalent to eighteen 747 aircraft at full bore. Thanks to its 27 Merlin first-stage rockets (which basically makes it three Falcon 9 rockets strapped together), the Falcon Heavy can put a 140,660-pound payload into low-Earth orbit, and is considered the most powerful rocket currently in service by a factor of two.

The hope is that one day the Falcon Heavy will carry live human astronauts to Mars.

SpaceX Launches Falcon Heavy Tomorrow With Starman At The Helm Of Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster
- image 754444
Onboard will be a payload consisting of one first-gen Tesla Roadster, plus a new addition as revealed in recent tweets from Musk – a dummy going by the name of “Starman” strapped in at the controls of the drop-top.

But before we get there, the rocket will need to pass this next test mission with flying colors. Onboard will be a payload consisting of one first-gen Tesla Roadster, plus a new addition as revealed in recent tweets from Musk – a dummy going by the name of “Starman” strapped in at the controls of the drop-top. Named after the classic David Bowie song from the earl ’70s, Starman’s purpose in the mission isn’t entirely clear, but it appears as though he’s decked-out in SpaceX’s space suit, which could suggest some pressure testing in the vacuum of the great beyond.

The Falcon Heavy will launch tomorrow from the NASA Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, Florida, taking off from pad 39A, the same slab that launched the Apollo moon missions. The finalization of the launch date should come as a relief to the upstart space company after it experienced multiple delays, with the original launch date scheduled between 2013 and 2014. But hey, better late than never, right?

SpaceX Launches Falcon Heavy Tomorrow With Starman At The Helm Of Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster
- image 754453
The plan is to put the Roadster into a heliocentric orbit, which means it'll continuously circle the sun, with close approaches to both the Earth and Mars along the way.

The plan is to put the Roadster into a heliocentric orbit, which means it’ll continuously circle the sun, with close approaches to both the Earth and Mars along the way. According to Popular Mechanics, this orbit would allow for an easy transition between the Earth and the Red Planet, and could provide a good framework for a Martian colony supply line sometime in the future. For now though, the Roadster will be careening around the solar system for about “a billion” years, give or take, with Bowie’s “Space Oddity” on repeat throughout the journey in continuation of the theme.

After sending the payload on its way, all three boosters will hopefully land safely back on earth, with two touching down on land and the third landing on SpaceX’s drone ship at sea. SpaceX hopes to make space travel more affordable by developing reusable rockets.

References

Tesla Roadster

2015 Tesla Roadster 3.0 High Resolution Exterior
- image 600358

Read our full review on the 2015 Tesla Roadster.

Elon Musk Wants A 5-Mile Hyperloop Test Track
- image 611786

Get in the Know - read up on the Latest Space X news or check out everything we’ve got on Elon Musk

What do you think?
Car Finder: