At the beginning of December, Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk tweeted his plans to send the first Tesla car, Roadster, to Mars in January.

Even though many people considered the statement as a joke, Musk later posted a photo of the Roadster inside a Falcon Heavy rocket at the SpaceX headquarters on his Instagram account, stating:

A Red Car for the Red Planet 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.

Thus, Musk’s own original cherry red electric vehicle would be launched in the first test of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket.

[rs_image_block image=”2436″ photo_credit=”Tesla Motors” photo_Credit=”Tesla”]

The photo of the Roadster inside the Falcon Heavy was taken only hours before the launch of the standard Falcon 9 rocket that lit up the Southern Californian sky and caused suspicion of aliens.

Falcon Heavy

The Falcon Heavy rocket is built in Hawthorne and contains three Falcon 9 boosters strapped together. Similarly like the other SpaceX rockets, it is a reusable rocket, which can carry larger cargo into space. Its estimated weight capacity is equivalent to a fully loaded Boeing 737 jet.

Currently undergoing the final pre-launch tests in Cape Canaveral, it is set to launch from the old launch pad of Apollo 11 in January. The launch will be the first official inaugural flight, planned for several years and the largest since the Saturn 5 moon rockets, launched almost 50 years ago. Falcon Heavy will be initially loaded with the Roadster, while later it will be used to carry payloads for other customers into space.

New Tesla Roadster model

Earlier, in the beginning of November, Musk revealed the new Roadster model, surprising attendees of the official launch of the Tesla electric semi.

He revealed that the new Roadster model could jump from 0-100 km/h (0-60 mph) in as little as 1.9 seconds. At a top speed of 400 km/h (250 mph), the little electric vehicle would reach a range of 1,000 km (600 miles). The impressive range would be enabled by the vehicle’s 200 kWh battery pack, laying the “smackdown” to the fossil fuel obsessed auto-industry, according to Musk.”]

The main features of the new Roadster are its power, speed and range. Although small, there is a possibility that these will improve in succeeding models. Moreover, clients would hypothetically have the opportunity to enhance their electric vehicles with even more powerful features, such as flying short distances. The car could be also equipped with more advanced autonomous driving capabilities.

Despite being speculative at present, additional enhancements of the vehicles would not come as a surprise to customers, based on experience with previous Tesla launches. Regarding the other characteristics of the car, its interior will be designed as a 2 by 2 four-seater.

Not saying the next gen Roadster special upgrade package *will* definitely enable it to fly short hops, but maybe … Certainly possible. Just a question of safety. Rocket tech applied to a car opens up revolutionary possibilities.

The new Roadsters will be the fastest electric cars produced  and are expected to hit the roads in 2020. Nevertheless, considering production of older models, such as the Model 3, the new Roadster factory time could undoubtedly be prolonged, thereby extending the release date for some time. Uncertainty surrounding the availability of the new Roadster is accompanied by another unknown, namely, the price of the new electric vehicle, which is expected to be revealed at later stages of the production process.

Snezana Sokolovska

Snezana has extensive international background and business media experience. She is covering e-mobility, autonomous vehicles and smart technology at Electric Think.

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