8th February, 2018: Elon Musk, the founder, CEO
and lead designer at Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) has launched a
sports car, the $100,000 Tesla Roadster, to the outer space and has triggered
its orbital race towards the planet Mars on 6th February, 2018.
The Tesla Roadster, with the message “Don’t panic!” stamped on the dashboard and David Bowie playing on the speakers, was space-lifted by the rocket, Falcon Heavy, the most powerful rocket in operation and second only to the Saturn V rockets, which carried men to the moon during the Apollo era.
Its projected path will bring it close to Mars, with a tiny chance to crash into the planet. And if it stays on course, it will instead drift through space, potentially for millions of years.
The Roadster, which is attached to the last stage of the rocket, will spend hours zapped by radioactive rays in the Van Allen belts. After that, all being well, the upper stage boosters will fire one last time, pushing the Tesla out towards its elliptical orbit around Mars and it is expected that it could orbit Earth indefinitely.
Founded in 2002, SpaceX has a mission, namely to enable humans to become a spacefaring civilization and a multi-planet species by building a self-sustaining city on Mars.
The superstar entrepreneur, Elon Musk is the co-founder, CEO and product architect of Tesla, which makes electric cars, giant batteries and solar products. He is the co-founder and chairman of OpenAI, a non-profit research company working to build safe artificial intelligence and ensure that AI’s benefits are as widely and evenly distributed as possible. Previously, Elon co-founded and sold PayPal, the world’s leading Internet payment system, and Zip2, one of the first internet maps and directions services online.