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Tesla aims to calm fears over Model 3 production

10 February 2018

On the contrary, in an earnings call with analysts, Tesla founder Elon Musk pointed to his immediate success in sending a Tesla Roadster into space as a test payload for SpaceX's new Falcon Heavy rocket on Tuesday. Musk's own Tesla Roadster is now on a path that will take it past Mars and brush an asteroid belt before curving back around towards the sun.

Observations of the Roadster, which has a spacesuit-clad mannequin named Starman riding in the driver's seat, indicate that it's in an elliptical orbit around the sun that will take it just outside the orbit of Mars and then back to slightly within Earth's orbital distance.

Musk confirmed late Tuesday that a final burn by the Falcon Heavy rocket's upper stage engine had successfully initiated a "trans-Mars injection" meant to boost the auto into an orbit around the sun stretching as far out as Mars.

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Starman, looking perfectly content to cruise along until the end of time, is bathed in sunlight with the Earth in the background.

A final burn by an engine on the Falcon Heavy rocket aimed to boost the vehicle into an orbit around the sun stretching as far out as Mars. For all the hype and hoopla surrounding the launch of a $200,000 sports vehicle with a space-suited mannequin named "Starman" at the wheel, SpaceX has never flown a rocket with a human being on board. "I think we'll be able to do that for capex that is less than Model 3 capex at the half-million-unit level", Musk said. He's striving to put the vehicle into a perpetual solar orbit reaching out as far as Mars, the focus of all his rocket efforts as he aims to establish a city there in years to come.

Musk and Tesla CFO Deepak Ahuja acknowledged 2017's challenges in a letter to investors but also said the table was set for a much better year in 2018.

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Musk later revealed the third booster, brand new, slammed into the Atlantic at 300 miles per hour and missed the floating landing platform, scattering shrapnel all over the deck and knocking out two engines.

The Roadster was shot into space on Tuesday aboard the Falcon Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The hulking rocket is intended for massive satellites, like those used by the US military and major-league communication companies. In other words, NASA could buy 10 Falcon Heavy launches for the coat of one SLS launch - and invest the remainder in truly revolutionary and meaningful missions that advance science and exploration.

To bring down the cost of spaceflight and boost efficiency, a key goal for Musk is to make rockets as reusable as commercial airplanes - eliminating the current industry practice of tossing the multi-million dollar components after each launch. Musk doesn't plan to fly people on the Heavy, but is working on an even bigger rocket for deep-space crews.

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Tesla aims to calm fears over Model 3 production