Serial entrepreneur Elon Musk has taken another step on his road to the red planet after SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket carried out a successful static fire test.
Once it is deemed ready to launch, the Falcon Heavy will be the most powerful operational rocket in the world.
Following the successful test yesterday Musk suggested the rocket could be "launching in a week or so."
Falcon Heavy hold-down firing this morning was good. Generated quite a thunderhead of steam. Launching in a week or so. pic.twitter.com/npaqatbNir
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 24, 2018
The rocket' first passenger will be Musk's very own cherry red Tesla Roadster which, all going well, should reach Mars orbit.
The SpaceX CEO has said the car will remain in "deep space for a billion years or so if it doesn't blow up on ascent."
A Red Car for the Red Planet Test flights of new rockets usually contain mass simulators in the form of concrete or steel blocks. That seemed extremely boring. Of course, anything boring is terrible, especially companies, so we decided to send something unusual, something that made us feel. The payload will be an original Tesla Roadster, playing Space Oddity, on a billion year elliptic Mars orbit.
A post shared by Elon Musk (@elonmusk) on
The Falcon Heavy can carry the biggest payload since the Apollo lunar programme's Saturn V - and is viewed as an essential step in Musk's plan to establish a human colony on Mars.