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Elon Musk Is Sending his Tesla Roadster to Mars Because He Can

About the same time last year, Elon Musk got caught up in the legendary L.A. traffic, so he tweeted something about starting a new company that would dig tunnels to solve this problem.
SpaceX rocket carrying Musk's Roadster 1 photo
People thought it was a joke and, to be fair, it did sound like one. Announcing the name of his new enterprise - the Boring Company - a while later didn't do anything to make things seem any more serious, but here we are one year later with one test tunnel nearly ready and plans for countless more.

It's important to bring all up because this Saturday morning, Musk posted another tweet. There were actually two, but only the second one was the eyebrow raiser. In the first, he announced the Falcon Heavy would launch "next month" from Cape Canaveral saying it would have double the thrust of the next largest rocket. "Guaranteed to be exciting, one way or another," Musk continued, showing he can take things lightly when he wants to.

The message that followed, however, was a bit weird, even by Musk standards. It went like this: "Payload will be my midnight cherry Tesla Roadster playing Space Oddity. Destination is Mars orbit. Will be in deep space for a billion years or so if it doesn’t blow up on ascent."

In other words, Musk wants to make Tesla the first car company to send one of its vehicles into Mars orbit, not because that makes any sense, but because it's extremely cool. As is having David Bowie's "Space Oddity" playing on its sound system - completely useless, but it makes for a much more romantic image.

So far, though, it's not clear whether Musk's red sports car will indeed go to Mars or will have to settle for an orbit around Earth, but it will surely be on board the Falcon Heavy. SpaceX intends to recover all three first stages of the rocket and, if proven successful, it might suggest a Mars mission is indeed very close.

The team assured everybody that there would be cameras to film everything, so all we need to do now is wait patiently. If completed successfully, the next time you're lying in the grass on a summer night stargazing, know that one of the shiny things you see in the sky might be a red Tesla Roadster.


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