Seriously, this is really happening.
Earlier this month, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk who may or may not be the real-life Iron Man, announced on Twitter his intention to send his midnight cherry Tesla Roadster into space, specifically Mars orbit, aboard the soon to launch Falcon Heavy rocket. Rumors swirled whether or not the CEO was serious or simply kidding. But now Musk has taken to Instagram to announce and post several photos of that Tesla Roadster parked in the rocket’s payload bay. Turns out he was dead serious.
The images show Musk’s personal car mounted at a 45-degree angle on a mount inside the still being assembled rocket. “A Rec Car for the Red Planet Test flights of new rockets usually contain mass simulators in the form of concrete or steel blocks. That seemed extremely boring,” Musk wrote on Instagram. “Of course, anything boring is terrible, especially companies, so we decided to do 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.” Space Oddity is a song from the late great David Bowie.
The Falcon Heavy rocket, which will launch from the same pad that sent Apollo 11 to the moon, is reusable and designed specifically to send heavy payloads into space. Destinations will include the International Space Station and, of course, Mars. Its inaugural unmanned launch is slated to happen next month. Hopefully it won’t blow up.