SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon Musk tweeted Friday that his red Tesla Roadster will head for deep space on the maiden flight of the company’s Falcon Heavy rocket as soon as next month, and do it to the tune of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity.”
SpaceX’s first Falcon Heavy rocket is expected to roll out to pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center for the first time next month for a hold-down firing of its 27 Merlin main engines, but the mega-rocket’s inaugural test launch will slip into January, officials confirmed Tuesday.
SpaceX is set to resume launches from pad 40 at Cape Canaveral in December with the liftoff of a space station-bound supply ship on top of a Falcon 9 booster, a major step in boosting the company’s flight rate and readying for the debut of the long-delayed Falcon Heavy rocket.
When SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket finally takes off for the first time, a debut now scheduled this fall, there’s a good chance the commercial heavy-lifter will falter short of reaching orbit, company founder and chief designer Elon Musk said last week.
There’s a lot on SpaceX’s agenda this year if the company can maintain its pace, including refinements of the Falcon 9 rocket to hasten refurbishment between flights and the debut of the long-delayed Falcon Heavy launch vehicle with two side boosters recycled from previous missions, Elon Musk said after last week’s successful liftoff of a previously-flown rocket.