CALIFORNIA, U.S. - An idea, initially considered a joke by serial entrepreneur, Elon Musk, is now said to be a confirmed and concrete plan - which involves putting a Tesla on Mars.
Musk is said to fully intend to put a red sports car made by one of his companies, on an enormous rocketship made by another of his companies, and then fire both of these into the Mars orbit.
The plan was received confirmed by a source familiar with SpaceX’s schedule of launching the said rocketship in January this year.
While the launch itself would be noteworthy - here’s what adds to the quirkiness of it all - Musk wants his cherry-red Tesla Roadster to play a specific song by David Bowie - Space Oddity - as it hurtles into space.
The plan was reportedly announced, like so many of Musk’s business decisions, in a cryptic message on Twitter over the weekend.
The launch will mark a coming out for the much-awaited Falcon Heavy, in a launch slated for the same Florida launchpad that sent Apollo astronauts to the moon.
The project is one of the founder, chief executive and largest shareholder of both SpaceX and Tesla Inc. Elon Musk’s usual cross-marketing promotion strategies.
Musk reportedly has even coined a tagline for the event: “Red car for a red planet.”
Currently, SpaceX flies its Falcon 9 rocket for customers that include NASA, commercial satellite operators, and the U.S. military.
While Falcon Heavy is a far more powerful rocket that has been in development for years and has 27 Merlin engines, a Falcon 9 has nine Merlin engines.
The first test will reportedly precede the attempt to fire a Tesla Roadster into Mars orbit, and will be a “static fire” in which all of the engines are activated at once.
Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX president and COO said in a statement recently, “We wanted to fly Heavy this year. We should be able to static fire this year and fly a couple of weeks right after that.”