The Dark Truth Behind Elon Musk’s SpaceX Rocket Launch

Elon Musk/Instagram

Yesterday US entrepreneur and billionaire Elon Musk launched his new rocket, the Falcon Heavy, into space.

The SpaceX and Tesla CEO sent his rocket up with a brand new cherry red electric Tesla sports car inside on the test flight.

The car is yet to be released to the public but of course Elon Musk made sure he had one free for the mission.

Elon Musk/Instagram

Following a separation from three boosters, the Falcon Heavy will 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.

And even cooler, David Bowie’s Space Oddity will be playing during the entire trip.

Now that really is quite something and far from ‘boring’ as Musk revealed on an Instagram post writing:

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.

To the majority of us this awesome mission confirmed once again that Musk is a hero to all but some people are less than impressed.

Infinite Dimensions CEO Jeffrey Wallace, a US government contractor developing advanced navigation systems, criticised the mission for having a lack of any scientific value being more of a fun publicity stunt.

He told IFL Science:

I do see this as a missed opportunity.

First, there is the whole access to space for experiments, and what opportunities there are receive a lot of attention and vetting.

Second was the opportunity for SpaceX to be exposed to potential new technology partners to see what they could do with no real investment on their part.


Others agreed with Wallace taking to Twitter to complain that Musk stuck one of his cars onboard the rocket rather than something of scientific value.

Space fan Oliver wrote:

Was spectacular and I know it was a test payload but if it’s going to orbit between Earth and Mars for a billion years they could’ve stuck some scientific stuff on it.

Aerospace writer Anthony Wood had his own ideas for what the payload could be tweeting:

He could have outfitted the Crew Dragon spacesuit with sensors to gauge it’s performance in the space environment.

Wouldn’t even have damaged the aesthetic of the Tesla advertisement.

Jeremy Wilks, a journalist who specialises in space, aptly summed up everyone’s thoughts writing:

I think they should have put a popular science payload made by school kids on the Falcon Heavy rather than fulfilling what may be a slightly odd ego-boosting schoolboy fantasy.

Musk sending up a Tesla car is certainly a great advertisement for his company and will naturally boost his ego.

But it also makes for some astonishing images which will always be remembered in the history of space, technology and innovation.

Admittedly he probably could have put a payload on with more scientific value, but this was only a test flight and I am sure there are numerous reasons why he chose the car.