- SpaceX via YouTube
- SpaceX successfully launched its Falcon Heavy rocket into space on Tuesday.
- As its test payload, the rocket carried Elon Musk’s 2008 Tesla Roadster, complete with a dummy driver named “Starman” wearing a SpaceX spacesuit.
- The car is equipped with cameras, and you can watch the Roadster’s journey via a live feed.
For those concerned about the fate of Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster – and the dummy named “Starman” that SpaceX sent into space on Tuesday – have no fear.
SpaceX equipped the Roadster with cameras that are livestreaming the payload’s journey as it travels toward Mars orbit – at least until the car’s battery dies, which Musk said is likely to happen 12 hours after launch.
Starman got some stunning views, including some of Earth.
“It looks so ridiculous and impossible,” Musk told reporters in a press conference after today’s launch. “You can tell it’s real because it looks so fake, honestly.”
He added that the suit is SpaceX’s actual product design, and can protect humans in a vacuum.
“That’s the real deal,” Musk said, “It’s a dangerous trip – you wanna look good.”
In addition to Starman, the Roadster is also carrying a few hidden items, including a model-sized version of the car and a model-sized Starman. In addition, the car holds a storage device with Isaac Asimov’s “Foundation” trilogy on it. And on the Roadster’s circuit board, Musk added a special note.
The payload’s attach fitting also has the names of more than 600 SpaceX employees engraved on it.
“It’s going to get whacked pretty hard,” Musk told reporters on Monday.
By subjecting the upper-stage of the rocket to this treatment, SpaceX hopes to demonstrate that it can survive even in extremely dangerous, harsh conditions. Ideally, the move would win over customers eager to launch their payloads into space using the Falcon Heavy system. Such a launch is expected to cost about $90 million, a discount compared to other space endeavors.
From there, it’ll take about six months for the Roadster to actually get to Mars orbit, Musk said in a tweet Tuesday.
Follow Starman’s journey here: