Published: Sat, February 10, 2018
Culture | By Stewart Greene

Elon Musk's Tesla Will Overshoot Mars

Elon Musk's Tesla Will Overshoot Mars

On Tuesday, his company blasted a 230ft (70m) rocket into orbit, returned its two side boosters to Earth for a flawlessly synchronised landing, and - with exquisite nerd flair - propelled Musk's own Tesla Roadster towards deep space, where it's expected to orbit the sun for hundreds of millions of years. The payload capacity of the Falcon Heavy is more than two and a half times that of either the now-retired space shuttle from NASA or the Delta IV Heavy rocket, according to SpaceX. Musk, also head of SpaceX, reassured Wall Street that "if we can send a Roadster to the asteroid belt, we can probably solve Model 3 production".

And now, many people who have put down refundable $1,000 deposits on the auto are being told their delivery will take place later than previously stated, according to new reports. In other words, Falcon Heavy can deliver the equivalent of an entire commercial airplane full of passengers, crew, luggage and fuel all the way to orbit.

Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said a self-driving Tesla will attempt the trip from Los Angeles to NY in the next three to six months after missing the deadline he set for late 2017.

The U.S. Air Force has reportedly conducted an air strike to destroy one of SpaceX's Falcon 9 boosters, which came down off the Florida Coast after a test. SpaceX should be able to produce ten BFR per year.

The more important focus of the company now is what it will do for the future.

The fact that it did is already a huge win for SpaceX. It is odd because every time I have ever thought of space or space exploration, NASA came to mind.

And Buzz Aldrin, second man to step onto the moon, also celebrated after watching the rocket soar "from my favorite launch pad". President Trump added his late last night. Under Russian communism, people put the satellite Sputnik into space.

Establishing a colony on Mars is Musk's stated long-term goal and Falcon Heavy is one step in the ambitious project he outlined past year. It involves a truly enormous launch vehicle, called BFR or Big Falcon Rocket, that would give off more than 11 million pounds of thrust at liftoff.

BFR would eventually replace SpaceX's Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets and the Dragon capsule.

The NASA equivalent of Starman's garb is the orange "pumpkin suit" you might recognize from so much launch footage.

A first test flight could take place in 2019 with orbital tests in 2020 and the delivery of the first cargo to Mars in 2022. The Palo Alto, California-based company didn't say when it will hit its ultimate target of 10,000 Model 3s a week, enough to hit Musk's goal of 500,000 a year. "I don't want to jump the gun on those, but I think we've got a good plan".

SHIFTING TARGETS: Tesla delivered 103,181 vehicles a year ago, up 35 percent over 2016 and ahead of its targets. She has a passion for fashion, jewellery and travel as well as an avaricious fascination with crime novels.

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