SpaceX’s huge Falcon Heavy rocket is set for launch for this week. It will be carrying a Tesla roadster on top, but no humans. Elon Musk admits the thing might blow up.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX will attempt to blast the world’s most powerful rocket up into space this week, with twice the lifting capacity of any other ship.
“With the ability to lift into orbit nearly 64 metric tons (141,000 lb) – a mass greater than a 737 jetliner loaded with passengers, crew, luggage and fuel – Falcon Heavy can lift more than twice the payload of the next closest operational vehicle, the Delta IV Heavy, at one-third the cost,” SpaceX says. The rocket is about 230 feet tall, and has more than 5 million pounds of thrust.
The Kennedy Space Center said Tuesday morning that the launch window for Falcon Heavy was after 1:30 p.m. Eastern time Tuesday until 4 p.m.
Musk plans to put his old car on top of the rocket – with a mannequin in the seat. It’s a cherry red 2008 Tesla Roadster.
“Just bear in mind that there is a good chance this monster rocket blows up,” Musk said back in December.
David Bowie’s Space Oddity will be playing on the car radio as it is launched into an elliptical orbit that stretches out to Mars’ orbit around the Sun.
Falcon Heavy sends a car to Mars https://t.co/Y7uBtU6Mt2
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 5, 2018
“I thought for sure something would delay us, like we’d have some issue that we discovered on the rocket, or maybe bad weather,” Musk said during a prelaunch news conference on Monday. “But the weather’s looking good, the rocket’s looking good, so it should be an exciting day tomorrow.”
As for his old roadster, Musk said, “We estimate it will be in that orbit for several hundred million years, maybe in excess of a billion years.”
You can watch a live stream of the launch here.