In today’s installment of “is Elon Musk actually a crazy person,” he has announced on Twitter that the payload of the first SpaceX falcon heavy rocket will be his personal “midnight cherry” Tesla Roadster.
In tribute to David Bowie, the plan is for the car to be playing “Space Oddity” on its speakers during the launch.
While this sounds like a joke and it could very well be one, he seems to insist that it will actually happen and a SpaceX employee also said that it is “legit” – though we will believe it when we see it.
If it happens, this will be an original Roadster, rather than the single existing prototype of the $250,000 new Roadster which was unveiled alongside the Tesla Semi two weeks ago. It would be rather irresponsible to send the latter into space…though of course it would also be irresponsible to send one of the first examples of the history-making original Roadster (and one-of-a-kind too, as “midnight cherry” doesn’t match the names of any production colors).
The twitter announcements were as follows:
The Falcon Heavy rocket is intended to be the most powerful rocket yet devised, with a maximum payload of 119,000lbs – much more than the Tesla Roadster’s 2,723 lb curb weight. So in theory, the Falcon Heavy could actually carry up to 43 Tesla Roadsters.
Another SpaceX employee confirmed soon after the tweet that, yes, this crazy plan is actually real, and better yet, there will be cameras:
There has been speculation as to what the payload of the rocket would actually be, with many thinking a Tesla vehicle would be a likely candidate. It wouldn’t be good to send anything useful or important, as there is a high chance of failure on the first launch. Musk has previously said that this means the payload would likely be something “silly,” and, of course, this definitely is.
Update: Musk reportedly told The Verge that, despite his follow-up tweet and the other employee’s confirmation, he “totally made it up.” But another twitter report suggests that Musk claimed this afternoon that the plan is “100% real,” and Musk tweeted again this afternoon that he “loves the thought” of it.