Elon Musk made an announcement via Twitter on Friday unveiling plans to launch a Tesla Roadster to Mars next month blaring David Bowie on the stereo.
Musk told his followers that the first flight of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy, will blast off from Cape Canaveral, site of the historic Apollo 11 mission with his car on board. But he has since told The Verge he 'totally made it up' - although insiders say the plan is actually real.
However, the site says 'a person familiar with the matter told The Verge Saturday evening that the payload is in fact real.' 'Falcon Heavy to launch next month from Apollo 11 pad at the Cape. Will have double thrust of next largest rocket. Guaranteed to be exciting, one way or another,' Musk originally posted.
'Payload will be my midnight cherry Tesla Roadster playing Space Oddity. 'Destination is Mars orbit. Will be in deep space for a billion years or so if it doesn't blow up on ascent. Later on, he revealed that the car was chosen as a 'Red car for a red planet'.
This mission will mark SpaceX's most ambitious project to date. SpaceX was founded in 2002 by Musk, the idea behind it was to reduce space transportation costs and enable the colonization of Mars.
The date is yet to be set in stone although musk is known for getting ahead of himself and periodically missing release dates. Sometime last week SpaceX said it had delayed the launch of its giant Falcon Heavy rocket until 2018. The company said it was still on course to test the rocket in a static fire trial this year.
It appears that Musk overruled the delay after an email was sent to Aviation Week by SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell revealing the delay. 'We wanted to fly heavy this year,' she wrote.
'We should be able to static fire this year and fly a couple of week’s right after that.'
It turns out that the static fire test will be the first time that all of Heavy's 27 Merlin engines will be fired at once. The ginormous rocket, which is ultimately three Falcon 9 rockets linked together, will have the combined thrust to eventually launch 140,000 pounds (63,500kg) of cargo into orbit.
If everything unfolds as planned, Falcon Heavy should be ready for launch within the first few weeks of 2018. SpaceX is poised to move launches of its single-core Falcon 9 rockets to pad 40 at neighboring Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, beginning with a Dec. 8 flight to send cargo to the International Space Station, freeing up pad 39A for final upgrades and outfitting to support the Falcon Heavy.
Musk unveiled the 2017 Tesla Roadster sometime last month, which is billed as the fastest production car ever made. The $200,000 sports car, which is an updated version of Tesla's first production vehicle - can seat four and travel 620 miles (1000 km) on a single charge, a new record for an electric vehicle.
It also features a removable glass roof, it can also go from 0 to 60 miles per hour (0 to 100 km/h) in 1.9 seconds and has a top speed over 250mph (400 kph).
SpaceX has been working on the Falcon Heavy rocket for years, it announced this fall that work to build an even bigger rocket that’s capable of transporting humans to Mars was already underway. Elon Musk aspires to colonize Mars in the coming decade, he wants to land at least two of the spacecraft on Mars by 2022.