The SpaceX "Mars Rocket" arrives at Cape Canaveral

Tesla Roadster

There have been a lot of doubts and confusion around Elon Musk's claim that the first payload of SpaceX's new Falcon Heavy will be his own original Tesla Roadster.

Photos shared on Instagram show the Tesla Roadster being prepped for the Falcon Heavy rocket. The photos were posted just hours after a picture leaked on Reddit that showed a grainy view of the vehicle being readied for its final ride.

The rocket is SpaceX's brand-new Falcon Heavy launcher, which is scheduled to fly in January 2018.

More recently, Musk tweeted that the payload for the first flight would be his midnight cherry Tesla Roadster. Expectations are high that Tesla could hit its production goal of 5,000 units per week in the first quarter, The expected volume production date for the Model 3 could also align with a rollout of the company's revamped navigation software.

"Test flights of new rockets usually contain mass simulators in the form of concrete or steel blocks".

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With enough fuel and the right trajectory, it's got enough thrust to launch a payload heavier than a vehicle to Pluto, let alone Mars. "That seemed extremely boring", he wrote on Instagram.

The Roadster will also be playing David Bowie's Space Oddity, and is aiming to enter a "billion year elliptic Mars orbit", should the launch go perfectly to plan.

The Falcon Heavy combines three SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets, such that it rides atop 27 Merlin engines firing in unison. Instead, it was readily visible to Musk's 16.7 million Twitter followers.

"Just bear in mind that there is a good chance this monster rocket blows up", Musk reportedly told Plait in an email, "so I wouldn't put anything of irreplaceable sentimental value on it".

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