NASA Monitoring Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster En Route To Mars

Falcon Tesla Roadster

But those aren't the most distinctive - and definitely not the nerdiest - parts of Elon Musk's space fleet.

The craft, which was created by Musk's SpaceX programme, is the most powerful operational rocket in the world. The latter is based at Port Canaveral and returns Falcon 9 boosters to facilities near the port for post-launch checkouts.

Falcon Heavy's outer rockets made a spectacular simultaneous landing, and the rocket's payload - a Cherry Red Tesla auto with a crash dummy inside - was delivered into space as expected.

The need for a third drone ship has arisen because of the increasing number of launches SpaceX is managing for NASA and other contractors. For that, it is building a new drone ship that will join two other SpaceX drone ships now floating on the Space Coast. All three drones are named after spacecraft featured in Scottish author Iain M. Banks' Culture novels, notes the report.

Meanwhile, NASA has been planning a Space Launch System rocket for Mars missions.

The fix, he said, was "pretty obvious".

Musk claimed that Ellison's numbers were based on flawed underlying data and that even if they weren't, the Falcon Heavy cost substantially less than the competition. This ship will be called "A Shortfall of Gravitas". The one blemish on the mission was that the center booster, which was to set down on a floating platform in the Atlantic, slammed into the water instead. Hispasat 30W-6, a commercial communications satellite, will be boosted to a geostationary transfer orbit.

Last week, SpaceX launched its Falcon Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral.

SpaceX's secret Falcon Heavy payload is known as Arch 1.2, and it contains Issac Asimov's Foundation trilogy, a sci-fi series that discusses the preservation of humankind - a relevant topic. At peak performance, the massive rocket can lift 141,000 pounds - equal to the weight of two adult sperm whales - into low-Earth orbit. The first test flight of that ship on a Falcon 9 rocket is also expected in 2018.

The outer core rockets both made successful landings, but the central rocket crashed into the ocean.

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