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Tesla Roadster



Tesla Roadster is the dummy payload for SpaceX's maiden flight of the Falcon-Heavy rocket. Instead of a dummy mass, this flight contains Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster built in 2009. The stage with the car attached is to be inserted into a deep space heliocentric orbit that will take it to the vicinity of Mars, but not into orbit around it. The car is mounted on an inclined customized adapter and will not be separated from the stage. On the payload adapter is a plaque with the names of 6000 SpaceX employees.

A SpaceX spacesuit called "Starman" is placed into the driver's seat. Also included is a Hot Wheels toy model of the Roadster with a miniature Starman inside and a storage device containing Isaac Asimov's "Foundation" novels. Reportedly the car's sound system played David Bowie's song "Space Oddity". There is also a copy of Douglas Adams' "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" in the glovebox, along with a towel and a sign saying "Don't Panic".

Two lattice frameworks on the payload adapter mount video cameras pointing at the car. After launch on the Falcon-Heavy rocket, it orbited Earth for six hours, until a third burn of the stage two inserted the Tesla Roadster into an interplanetary solar orbit reaching out toward the asteroid belt and having a perihelion of 0.99 AU and an aphelion of ~1.7 AU. This orbit will be stable for several million years.

Alternate Names

  • 43205
  • Elon's Roadster
  • Starman
  • TelsaRoadster

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 2018-02-06
Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9 Heavy
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States

Funding Agency

  • Unknown (United States)


  • Other
  • Engineering

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office

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