Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster spotted floating in space

Tesla autopilot

But the rocket needed a dummy payload, and a sports auto against the backdrop of Earth is a damn sight more dramatic than a block of concrete.

Perched atop the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket, a red Tesla sports auto is hitchhiking into the galaxy this week. David Bowie's "Life on Mars" was playing in the background, obviously. The somewhat unusual payload is part of the Falcon Heavy's maiden flight, and the vehicle was originally destined for a trip around Mars. SpaceX, despite some hiccups along the way, has transformed the ridiculous into the routine, these days casually returning Falcon 9 rockets to terra firma.

The launch of the Falcon Heavy was a major step for SpaceX as it gears up for an actual manned flight.

Much of space research is funded by industry, and institutes with a vested interest in the space sector. It states that the next most powerful spacecraft in operation, the Delta IV Heavy, delivers half the payload at three times the cost. The main capsule was supposed to send the red Tesla on an orbit that would get close to Mars, in a large elliptical trajectory around the sun. The live webcast of the launch was YouTube's second-most-watched event ever.

The powerful rocket launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, before breaking out to into space.

An image a tiny puncture made by orbital debris, or space junk, on the Solar Maximum Mission satellite. Two of the three Falcon 9s that made up the Falcon Heavy were recovered; the third was destroyed in a failed landing. For now, we can only thank Elon Mask and the Falcon Heavy for ferrying our dreams into the depths of space.

Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) reported after market closure on Wednesday a lower-than-expected net loss and significantly slower cash-burn rate for Q4, while it confirmed its target to have weekly Model 3 production at 5,000 cars by the end of Q2.

Turkish forces push into Syria as Afrin offensive enters fourth week
Negotiations on the proposed measure are to begin on Monday, and diplomats said it could quickly come to a vote at the council. Sweden and Kuwait presented the measure that would also demand an immediate end to sieges, including in Eastern Ghouta.

They didn't stop there. The Falcon Heavy is price-listed at $90 million, a bargain in the business of rockets.

With the prospect an adversary might take out satellites, the ability to quickly replace them can be a game changer for USA and allied forces, Young said.

Falcon Heavy's payload prior to launch - Starman in Tesla Roadster.

Unfortunately, the main central core was not as lucky, as its attempt to land on a drone ship failed when two of its engines failed to ignite, causing to crash into the water at about 300 miles per hour near the drone ship. "It definitely works, though", Musk said.

Musk said the successful Falcon Heavy launch left him encouraged about the future of BFR.

Some are proposing that NASA spends the next decade or longer building the "Deep Space Gateway", a mini-space station that would orbit the Moon, but this would be a strategic mistake and detour from what NASA should do starting in the early 2020s: Build a Lunar surface base with commercial and ISS partners, and with lessons learned, go to Mars in the 2030s. However, the company might recycle the "super expensive" titanium grid fins which helped guide the boosters back to Earth.

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