Eccentric billionaire Elon Musk is launching a Tesla Roadster into space.
Why? We’re not sure. It may just be another one of his jokes that have taken on a life of their own, sort of like the whole flamethrower thing.
Last December, Musk tweeted that the first payload for SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket will be a red Tesla roadster. Specifically, a “midnight cherry Tesla Roadster playing Space Oddity” by David Bowie. When asked to confirm by skeptical Twitter users, Elon replied in the affirmative that he’d absolutely launch his car out of Earth’s orbit.
Yes— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 2, 2017
Naturally, we all thought it was a joke. But then, we also thought the Boring Company’s flamethrower would be a joke too, and he sold all 20,000 of them for $500 a pop, making $10,000,000. If the man can make that much money on a joke, imagine if he were actually serious?
On Sunday, Musk posted a picture on his Instagram account that may once again prove he was serious about sending that Tesla roadster into space.
What you see appears to be a midnight cherry Tesla Roadster mounted on a rig that would allow it to be placed beneath the nosecone of the Falcon Heavy rocket. Inside the Tesla, appears to be a man wearing the SpaceX spacesuit, undoubtedly a dummy, who according to the post is named “Starman.”
The dummy—provided it’s suitably rigged with sensors—would be useful to determine the effects of the Falcon Heavy’s launch on the human body, given that Musk has stated he wants to use the rocket for human passengers to orbit, and eventually Mars. Additionally, the scaffolding which surrounds the car would be perfect to mount cameras and provide us with footage of what happens to Starman during his voyage.
Also of note, if you look very closely at the dash, you’ll see a tiny red Tesla model with a tiny starman inside. Could there be even smaller roadsters and Starmen the further you zoom in? Unfortunately, we here at Hot Cars do not possess that technology but would love to hear from someone who does.