The SpaceX "Mars Rocket" arrives at Cape Canaveral

The SpaceX

The SpaceX "Mars Rocket" arrives at Cape Canaveral

Never one to leave well enough alone, though, he also declared that he was going to load his Tesla Roadster into the rocket as a payload. Launching a vehicle into space sounds like something Musk would do, but this is the first confirmation that it's actually happening.

On Friday, Musk revealed the setup in a photo slideshow posted to Instagram. The company has also said it would use the rocket to take.

With enough fuel and the right trajectory, it's got enough thrust to launch a payload heavier than a auto to Pluto, let alone Mars.

Chief Executive shared the photos in a tweet, saying the rocket was now at Cape Canaveral in Florida.

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An early 2018 release date for an overhauled navigation system would be in line with the expected mass rollout of the Model 3 compact sedan.

But, noticeably, the reusable rocket system is missing the clamshell top, or fairing, in the images. The first test launch is scheduled for January 2019. And in 2010, he launched a wheel of cheese into orbit during the maiden voyage of Dragon, a spaceship built by SpaceX. This highly elliptical path goes out to the orbit of Mars, then back to Earth orbit on a near-endless loop (hence the "billion years or so" detail from Musk). And if that wasn't freaky enough, it'll be playing David Bowie's 1969 classic Space Oddity as it heads toward the red planet, powered by the Heavy's second-stage engines. Joy Dunn, an engineer at the company, tweeted on December 1 that "this is legit and of course there will be cameras!"

Elon Musk said in a tweet on Thursday that the electric auto maker will soon launch some "cool" software updates.

But it might be something else in Carmack's background that interests Musk, as Carmack pointed out in a tweet of his own in response to a Business Insider report: Carmack and Musk helped found the Commercial Spaceflight Federation in 2005.

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