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Now, the rocket is set to launch on February 6, beginning the Roadster's very, very long journey in space.

Musk describes the auto as being his own, but considering that he essentially owns all unsold Roadsters, and won't exactly be driving this one any time soon, this claim to personal ownership feels symbolic at best.

The rocket's maiden flight was first supposed to happen in 2013-then early 2016, and then a bunch more hoped-for launch dates through 2016 and 2017.

The Falcon Heavy rocket consists of 3 Falcon 9 first stages, and each Falcon 9 rocket is powered by 9 Merlin engines.

Musk, who has a history of launching "silly" test payloads, seems to think his personal 2008 Tesla Roadster fits the bill: He intends to put the auto atop Falcon Heavy and fly it out to Mars orbit next week. This attitude was highlighted with the fourth launch of ten Iridium NEXT satellites in late December 2017, which saw a flight-proven Falcon 9 conduct a controlled ocean ditch after separating from the second stage. From the sound of it, Musk expects the auto to be in orbit around Mars for "millions of years", potentially being discovered at some point in the future by an alien race once our own species has long since died off. He laid out the jaw-dropping plan in a series of tweets earlier this month. SpaceX SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket is seen here at a Kennedy Space Center hangar.


"I love the thought of a auto drifting apparently endlessly through space and perhaps being discovered by an alien race millions of years in the future", Musk wrote. This makes the rocket really "heavy". "Guaranteed to be exciting, one way or another", he promised.

The Falcon Heavy, which is three times more powerful than the company's current flagship spacecraft, the Falcon 9, will lift off from Launch Pad 39A, the same pad use for NASA's launching of Apollo missions and space shuttle flights. But none of it was reusable.

SpaceX has paved the way for rocket reusability on the commercial side of orbital flight. The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex has unveiled a series of Falcon Heavy launch viewing packages for the visitors. SpaceX Rendering: Two Falcon Heavy boosters landing at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

"It's one of those things that sounded easy", Musk said during a press conference after a Falcon 9 launch on March 30, 2017. So is United Launch Alliance, a venture between Lockheed Martin and Boeing, with its next-generation Vulcan.


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