Falcon Heavy Maiden Flight Set to Launch a Tesla to Mars

The first launch of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket will carry an unusual test payload. In stereotypically flamboyant fashion, Elon Musk announced on Twitter that the first Falcon Heavy mission will launch the SpaceX founder’s very own first generation Tesla Roadster to Mars.

In a series of Tweets published over the weekend, Musk not only announced the unusual payload but confirmed that the company will launch from the historic pad 39A. The legendary launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida hosted both the Apollo and Space Shuttle programs

Independent sources within the company have confirmed the test payload will, in fact, be a Tesla. However, no details on the exact nature of its visit to mars have yet been released. An attempt to place the vehicle into a Mars orbit would require an additional entry burn and as a result, seems unrealistic. The launch will much more likely place the Tesla on a trajectory to pass by the Red Planet on its way into space.

Although originally planned to be launched this month, recent reports have indicated that a December launch is unlikely. Late last month, SpaceX indefinitely delayed the launch of the secretive Zuma payload following the discovery of an unspecified fault in the fairing of a previous launch. The likelihood of the two delays being somehow connected is, however minimal.

SpaceX is known for taking a “silly” approach to test flights. In 2010, the company launched their first Dragon Capsule that would later become the first commercial spacecraft to dock with the International Space Station. Aboard its maiden flight, the Dragon Capsule carried a wheel of cheese. In comparison, launching a Tesla to Mars seems somewhat reasonable.

Image Credit: SpaceX (Artist’s Impression)

Andrew Parsonson is a space enthusiast and the founder of Rocket Rundown. He has worked as a journalist and blogger for various industries for over 5 years and has a passion for both fictional and real-life space travel. Currently, Andrew is the primary writer for Rocket Rundown as we look to expand our reach and credibility.