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By Sarah Storkin
Observer Staff Writer 

Elon Musk Plans to Launch His Tesla Roadster to Mars in January 2017

January 2018 launch of the new rocket, will carry an automobile to Martian orbit


December 29, 2017

Elon Musk

Weeks after announcing that he plans to send an original Tesla Roadster to space atop a Falcon Heavy rocket, Elon Musk has released photos of the car being prepped for launch at SpaceX headquarters. The series of photos, posted to Instagram, show the Roadster attached to a fitting and placed between the two halves of the payload fairing that caps the rocket.

No, this isn't fake news. The CEO and founder of Hawthorne based SpaceX rocket company, plans to use the maiden voyage of the Falcon Heavy Lift rocket to take his Tesla Roadster to Mars.

Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster is planned to be sent to a heliocentric Mars transfer orbit.

Falcon Heavy is a reusable super heavy-lift launch vehicle being designed and manufactured by SpaceX. The Falcon Heavy (previously known as the Falcon 9 Heavy) is a variant of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle and will consist of a strengthened Falcon 9 rocket core with two additional Falcon 9 first stages as strap-on boosters.

The engines at the bottom of the Falcon Heavy Lift rocket

This will increase the low Earth orbit (LEO) maximum payload to 63,800 kilograms (140,700 lb), compared to 22,800 kilograms (50,300 lb) for a Falcon 9 full thrust. Falcon Heavy was designed from the outset to carry humans into space and would enable crewed missions to the Moon or Mars.

SpaceX founder Musk, 46, is known for his intelligence and bravado. Depending on who you talk to, he is the world's greatest salesman or 21st Century America's version of Leonardo de Vinci.

Bursting onto the world stage 23 years ago when he and his brother started PayPal, he has helped found several companies since including SpaceX, Tesla and Solar City. "The Boring Company" is a Musk venture that seeks to tunnel throughout Southern California, and send people to distant places in tubes. But that's another story.

SpaceX is currently aiming for the first demonstration flight of the Falcon Heavy to occur in January 2018.


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