Musk's Roadster and its mannequin "driver", dubbed "Starman," launched into space from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, as a "mass simulator" aboard SpaceX's Falcon Heavy test flight.
"I'm still trying to absorb everything that happened because it seemed surreal to me", Musk told reporters after the successful launch.
Thousands of onlookers in Florida could be heard cheering on the company's livestream, which was viewed by about 3 million people.
"Ukraine's Antonov Airlines took a direct part in preparations for the launch by providing its An-124-100 Ruslan aircraft for the transportation of rocket components". The team proved they can build and launch the world's most powerful rocket and carry payloads into deep space.
Aside from its more than unusual payload, another key talking point of the mission was whether SpaceX could achieve the impressive feat of returning all three of its Falcon 9 boosters unscathed at two different landing sites.
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"Most of our engineering resources will be dedicated to BFR, and so that will make things go quite quickly", Musk said.
And David Bowie's Space Oddity is playing out from the electric car's stereo for eternity. Originally, SpaceX had planned to direct the vehicle into the orbit of Mars, but the company's latest estimates indicate it will overshoot the red planet and continue into the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. In case it succeeds, Falcon Heavy will move away from Earth onto an elliptical orbit around the Sun that extends as far out as the orbit of Mars, the New York Times reported. So maybe that's what he meant: maybe the Falcon Super Heavy would be in fact the Big Falcon Super Rocket.
Late a year ago, Musk mused on Twitter that the Roadster will travel with a copy of the novel in the car's glove box "plus a towel and a sign saying 'Don't Panic, '" a phrase that appears on the cover of the book. The first stage core rocket also attempted to land on an unmanned seagoing barrage in the Atlantic but its success has still not been confirmed due to the loss of a data link. SpaceX is reusing first-stage boosters to save on launch costs. It was only the centre booster that had not been used in previous missions.
The company was preparing for the launch of the rocket for seven years. With liftoff, the Heavy became the most powerful rocket in use today.
Saturn V, which took astronauts to the Moon, could handle more payload, as could the Soviet-era Energia.