Now Musk is teasing us with an even more overblown set of seven photos that show said Roadster prepping to head into orbit near Mars. The photos were posted just hours after a picture leaked on Reddit that showed a grainy view of the auto being readied for its final ride. The images show the Roadster sitting solidly on top of an aerospace fitting, surrounded by the two-piece payload fairing.
The photoset on Musk's Instagram account reminds everyone that test flights usually contain mass in the form of concrete or steel blocks to test load capacity.
Either way, we now know that a Tesla vehicle will indeed be aboard the Falcon Heavy when it takes it inaugural flight - propelled by 27 Merlin engines, or essentially three Falcon 9 rockets strapped together. It was built with the intention of one day getting humans to Mars.
The SpaceX monstrous new rocket has officially arrived at the Kennedy SpaceX Center ahead of it's debut test launch.
The rocket is SpaceX's brand-new Falcon Heavy launcher, which is scheduled to fly in January 2018. He expects it to be ready for launch by early 2018. The price of a Falcon Heavy mission starts at $90 million, according to SpaceX's website. Given that Falcon Heavy can put up to 119,000 pounds of cargo into Earth's orbit, the 2,700-lb curb weight of the Roadster is trivial.
"Red auto for a red planet", Musk replied to a Twitter user in early December. Instead, Plait wrote in a post for SyFy, it's "going near Mars" - specifically in what's called a Hohmann transfer orbit.
It's unlikely the Tesla will be empty, just playing David Bowie's song "Space Oddity" on repeat.
An earlier tweet by Musk also promised other "cool software updates" were also in the works and "coming soon".
"Just bear in mind that there is a good chance this monster rocket blows up", Musk reportedly told Plait in an email, "so I wouldn't put anything of irreplaceable sentimental value on it".