Elon Musk sends Tesla Roadster into space

Elon Musk sends Tesla Roadster into space
A Tesla Roadster has been sensationally launched into space as part of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy’s first-ever test flight.

SpaceX – Tesla’s sister company – launched company founder Elon Musk’s personal all-electric red Roadster into the great unknown.

The Falcon Heavy space craft has been designed by Musk’s private rocket company to take satellites and other equipment to the moon and further.

The Roadster was attached to the side of the rocket and enclosed in a protective covering for the launch – which took place on the same pad at the Kennedy Space Centre used nearly 50 years ago to send the first man to the moon.

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The launch was broadcast on YouTube and treated audiences to an incredible view of the vehicle circling around earth.

David Bowie’s ‘Life on Mars’ played to the space-suited mannequin – known as ‘Starman’ – sitting in the driver’s seat.

Other quirky additions to the orbiting Roadster include a sign reading ‘Don’t Panic’ and a mini Hot Wheels Roadster complete with its own tiny spaceman driver placed on the dashboard.

Following the launch, Musk said: “It’s kind of silly and fun, but I think that silly and fun things are important.

“The imagery of it is something that’s going to get people excited around the world.

“(Before lift-off) I had this image of just a giant explosion on the pad, a wheel bouncing down the road, the Tesla logo landing somewhere. But fortunately, that’s not what happened.”

After having overshot Mars’ orbit – its original destination – Musk’s car is now heading towards the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

The Falcon Heavy is made up of three Falcon 9s – the crafts that are currently used to ship supplies out to the International Space Station.

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The company saved on costs by reusing one of its first-stage launch boosters which are otherwise thrown into the ocean after lift-off.

Elsewhere, Tesla revealed last year that its all-new electric Roadster is heading for release in 2020.

The second-generation model can reach 60mph in just 1.9 seconds, with a top speed of 250mph and costing £150,000.

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