SpaceX has long been planning to launch its Falcon Heavy rocket and the company certainly wants it to be a memorable occasion. The company’s founder Elon Musk decided to put his original Tesla Roadster on top as a test payload and the United States government has now allowed the company to launch this payload toward Mars. The approval was necessary because all rocket payloads have to be cleared by the Federal Aviation Administration by law.
The company decided against putting a standard “mass simulator” or dummy payload on top of the Falcon Heavy because Musk thought it would be cool to launch his own 2008 Tesla Roadster into space on a path to an elliptical Mars orbit. “Test flights of new rockets usually contain mass simulators in the form of concrete or steel blocks. That seemed extremely boring,” Musk said.
The car is even going to carry a dummy driver in the front seat wearing a SpaceX space suit, the company is calling the dummy “Starman.” The FAA has issued a permit to the company which confirms that it can launch the Tesla Roadster to a hyperbolic orbit.
SpaceX is going to conduct the Falcon Heavy launch later today between 1:30 and 4:30 pm ET. It’s not only the biggest rocket that the company has ever sent up, SpaceX also says that it’s the most powerful rocket in the world right now.