It’s always a little tricky to find your ideal morning commute song, wedding song, the song which will play as your Tesla blasts off into space.
Actually, that last one is pretty obvious. David Bowie’s Space Oddity is after all the clear choice for any intergalactic journey and it seems Elon Musk concurs.
The 46-year-old billionaire – who has previously expressed his desire to die on Mars – has today made a characteristically eccentric addition to the launch of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket.
Aboard the rocket is an exposed cherry red Tesla Roadster which will blare out Space Oddity on an endless loop. Oh and sat in the passenger seat is a dummy dolled up to the nines in SpaceX’s most recent space suit. Here’s hoping he’s a Bowie fan…
Announcing the unusual stunt in an Instagram post entitled A Red Car for the Red Planet, Musk revealed:
Test flights of new rockets usually contain mass simulators in the form of concrete or steel blocks. That seemed extremely boring.
Of course, anything boring is terrible, especially companies, so we decided to send something unusual, something that made us feel.
The payload will be an original Tesla Roadster, playing Space Oddity, on a billion year elliptic Mars orbit.
Can we all just take a moment to note how the business magnate described testing space rockets as being ‘extremely boring’? God forbid he ever casts an eye over my hum-drum weekend plans…
A Red Car for the Red Planet Test flights of new rockets usually contain mass simulators in the form of concrete or steel blocks. That seemed extremely boring. Of course, anything boring is terrible, especially companies, so we decided to send something unusual, something that made us feel. The payload will be an original Tesla Roadster, playing Space Oddity, on a billion year elliptic Mars orbit.
The rocket was set to launch at 1:30 PM EST (18:30 GMT) February 6, 2017.
Following a separation from three boosters, Falcon Heavy will eventually discard the payload fairing caps; propelling the Tesla towards a billion year elliptical orbit of Mars, where it will travel at around seven miles a second.
This is understandably a pretty strange image to visualise, so make sure to check out the following handy simulation:
People from all over our little blue planet have been baffled, excited and intrigued by this utterly unconventional launch.
One person tweeted:
My favorite event of 2018 already is that they are shooting a ‘cherry red Tesla’ into space playing ‘Space Oddity’ from David Bowie.
I really wonder what aliens would think about this.
Others have praised Elon’s unique way of doing business, with one person tweeting:
A Tesla Roadster being shot into space, playing Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’, with a copy of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a towel, and a Don’t Panic sign in the glove box. @elonmusk, I love your geek cred.
My favorite event of 2018 alrwady is that they are shooting a 'cherry red Tesla' into space playing 'Space Oddity' from David Bowie. I really wonder what aliens would think about this.
— Beau (@_Blind_Medium_) February 6, 2018
A Tesla Roadster being shot into space, playing Bowie's "Space Oddity", with a copy of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a towel, and a Don't Panic sign in the glove box. @elonmusk, I love your geek cred. Good luck with the launch today! #FalconHeavyLaunch #SpaceX #KeepFlying
— Stace Johnson (@Lytspeed) February 6, 2018
And for those that don’t know what that means…. our lord and savior Elon Musk is sending up his cherry red Tesla Roadster out into deep space on a really big rocket whilst blaring Space Oddity by David Bowie ?
— good havens! (@DrTimJr) February 6, 2018
1: It will be the most powerful active rocket on earth by a factor of 2 ?
2: It consists of 3 cores, two of which have already been to space, and have landed back on earth ?
— Cam ✈️ (@CamxFly) February 6, 2018
In many ways this is a splendidly theatrical tribute to the late, great David Bowie, who himself had a sincere fascination with everything to do with space.
Many of his songs were overtly spaced themed, a topic he returned to repeatedly despite his continuous reinvention.
Just to list a few from his unparalleled oeuvre, we have Moonage Daydream, Starman, Life on Mars?, Hallo Spaceboy and Born in a UFO.
He also apparently shared Musk’s distaste for anything mundane, with his much shared quote, ‘I don’t know where I’m going from here but I promise it won’t be boring.’
space oddity by david bowie is going to be playing in a tesla going into space today. i miss u sir bowie but ur legacy lives on
— anna (@Iovelightwood) February 6, 2018
Elon musk is so fucking dope for putting space oddity on a loop in his Tesla going to mars
— Dakota Osborne (@bigpoppa831) February 6, 2018
Elon Musk is launching his cherry red Tesla Roadster into Mars orbit playing Space Oddity. I love it. Greatest to Ever do it.
— Bugs (@BugsGuNNy_) February 6, 2018
"The payload will be an original Tesla Roadster, playing [the song] 'Space Oddity,' on a billion-year elliptic Mars orbit." i can't
— kayla (@kaylahinojosaa) February 6, 2018
It certainly seems fitting how Bowie’s music will play on among the stars; a much more natural environment for the great legend than our dull old earth ever was.
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.