Several weeks ago, Elon Musk said that he planned to send an original Tesla Roadster to space on the Falcon Heavy rocket, and we now have some pictures to back up those claims. Musk released photos of the car being prepped for launch at SpaceX headquarters.
Pictures of the Tesla Roadster and rocket were posted to Instagram where we see the Roadster attached to a fitting and placed between two halves of the payload fairing that caps the rocket. The photos were released on Instagram just hours after a picture was leaked on Reddit that gave us a grainy picture of the car being fitted into the rocket.
This is the first time that the Flacon Heavy will be taking launch. SpaceX has been planning to launch the Falcon Heavy for many years now and is now a reality with the Tesla Roadster inside. The Falcon Heavy is the successor to the Falcon 9, and has three boosters strapped together, all of which will add enough power and thrust to make it the most powerful rocket in the world. The Falcon Heavy will give SpaceX the ability to send bigger payloads to space, and also helps push the company's ambitions farther into the Solar System.
SpaceX, of course, doesn't want to put such a highly valuable payload in the very first flight of Falcon Heavy due to risks of explosion. The company plans to use a “dummy payload” instead. “Test flights of new rockets usually contain mass simulators in the form of concrete or steel blocks. That seemed extremely boring,” Musk wrote on Instagram today. “Of course, anything boring is terrible, especially companies, so we decided to send something unusual, something that made us feel.”