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SpaceX to Launch Tesla Roadster Into Mars Orbit

SpaceX is ready for the first launch of its Falcon Heavy rocket. It will be capable of launching 54 metric tons into orbit, twice that of any other operational orbital vehicle and at one-third the cost. Elon Musk announced via Twitter that the launch would take place early next year from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

His followup tweet has generated some confusion as it wasn't clear if he was joking or not:

Since the first launch of the Falcon Heavy will have a high chance of failure resulting in a giant fireball, the payload had to be carefully chosen. Commercial goods such as satellites would be too expensive to risk, but Elon's midnight cherry Roadster? That will draw crowds one way or the other. An earlier tweet also generated some laughs:

I guess we'll find out the truth if the Roadster makes it to Mars.

In other space news, the New Zealand based Rocket Lab is also preparing for another historic launch by hoping to be the first to place satellites into orbit from a private launch facility on the South Island.