Elon Musk shows off the Tesla Roadster he's prepping for space

The SpaceX

The SpaceX "Mars Rocket" arrives at Cape Canaveral

Elon Musk tweeted that Tesla cars will receive an update to their map and navigation systems in early 2018. Musk stated in a tweet, "Payload will be my midnight cherry Tesla Roadster playing Space Oddity". The photos were posted just hours after a picture leaked on Reddit that showed a grainy view of the vehicle being readied for its final ride.

Musk, who is also the CEO of Tesla, first announced that his Roadster as space bound on December 1 on Twitter. That is, of course, assuming it doesn't blow up after launch. It was built with the intention of one day getting humans to Mars. But if there was any lingering doubt, he made it clear Friday that SpaceX does indeed intend to launch a Tesla Roadster on the maiden flight of its Falcon Heavy rocket.

"Major navigation overhaul coming in early 2018".

But, noticeably, the reusable rocket system is missing the clamshell top, or fairing, in the images. Given that Falcon Heavy can put up to 119,000 pounds of cargo into Earth's orbit, the 2,700-lb curb weight of the Roadster is trivial.

The Tesla won't be going to the planet Mars itself, as Musk told Phil Plait, an astronomer and writer. -, Elon Musk replied with the only sane answer apart from the one we've already touched (media publicity): "I love the thought of a auto drifting apparently endlessly through space and perhaps being discovered by an alien race millions of years in the future".

It's unlikely the Tesla will be empty, just playing David Bowie's song "Space Oddity" on repeat. Musk also told Plait that he's willing to consider launching other objects inside the Tesla suggested by the public.

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