SpaceX 'Starman' travels toward asteroid belt in Tesla Roadster

The SpaceX Falcon Heavy- set for launch from Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center- is the most powerful rocket in operation today

However, with its more powerful rockets, Falcon Heavy is expected to be the first step to future missions to the Moon and even Mars.

Rocket recycling is the key to SpaceX's launch cost-cutting strategy.

But the middle booster missed the "drone ship" that was its landing target and hit the Atlantic Ocean at about 300 miles per hour.

Establishing a colony on Mars is Musk's stated long-term goal and Falcon Heavy is one step in the ambitious project he outlined previous year.

In the driver's seat of SpaceX CEO Elon Musk's red Tesla Roadster, meanwhile, a mannequin named "Starman" hurtled away from Earth at almost 7 miles a second - certainly a speed record of some kind for a auto.

Even though Musk blasted his Tesla Roadster into space, his electric vehicle company's mounting losses brought him back to Earth again on Thursday.

Landing the first stages is always secondary objective - and the fact that Musk's space company managed to land two of three is a feat in itself.

Two of the boosters- both recycled from previous launches - returned minutes later for simultaneous, side-by-side touchdowns on land at Cape Canaveral. "It definitely works, though", Musk said.

Billionaire and SpaceX founder Elon Musk displays a computer generated illustration of his new
SpaceX 'Starman' travels toward asteroid belt in Tesla Roadster

If we got the footage. that sounds like some pretty fun footage, if the cameras didn't get blown up as well, then we'll put that up. for - you know - just the blooper reel.

A link has been posted to your Facebook feed. The red electric convertible was the unorthodox cargo aboard his company's brand new Falcon Heavy rocket during a test flight on Tuesday.

SpaceX is targeting a long, oval orbit around the sun for the Roadster that will take the auto as far out as Mars, and have it making laps for a billion years. It "opens up a new class of payload".

A mannequin wearing a spacesuit sat behind the wheel of the Tesla that was launched into space on Tuesday from the Kennedy Space at Cape Canaveral, FL.

But that doesn't mean Falcon Heavy will become a distant memory.

Cheers rang out across Florida's Space Coast as thousands of spectators watched the massive vehicle fly onward. The time table for that is 3 or 4 years, says Musk, but he is notoriously late on his timetables.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk called the launch a "big relief" after he had previously claimed there was only a 50 percent chance of liftoff for the rocket. SpaceX via AFP/Getty Images This image from video provided by SpaceX shows the company's spacesuit in Elon Musk's red Tesla sports auto which was launched into space.

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