Tourist Snaps Sneak Peek of SpaceX Falcon Heavy Payload Fairing in Florida

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A lucky visitor to NASA's Kennedy Space Center snapped a photo of the payload container for SpaceX's new megarocket, the Falcon Heavy.

Twitter user Emiliano C. Diaz de Leon was on a tour bus at the NASA center when he photographed the Falcon Heavy payload fairing being moved inside a building, Inverse has reported. The container will sit atop the Falcon Heavy on the rocket's maiden flight, which is scheduled to take place sometime in January.

Last week, SpaceX's founder and CEO Elon Musk posted pictures on Twitter that show his midnight cherry Tesla Roadster being loaded into the fairing. He also said on Twitter that the payload will be shot into a Mars orbit, but the company has not revealed additional details about the payload's trajectory. [Update 1/2: SpaceX has since clarified that the Falcon Heavy payload will be injected into an orbit around the sun that can extend as far from the sun as Mars, and as close to the sun as the Earth.]  

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk's midnight cherry red Tesla Roadster, which will be launched into space on the first Falcon Heavy rocket test flight, is seen before encapsulation inside its protective payload fairing. SpaceX's debut Falcon Heavy rocket will launch in January 2018. (Image credit: SpaceX)

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Calla Cofield
Senior Writer

Calla Cofield joined's crew in October 2014. She enjoys writing about black holes, exploding stars, ripples in space-time, science in comic books, and all the mysteries of the cosmos. Prior to joining Calla worked as a freelance writer, with her work appearing in APS News, Symmetry magazine, Scientific American, Nature News, Physics World, and others. From 2010 to 2014 she was a producer for The Physics Central Podcast. Previously, Calla worked at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City (hands down the best office building ever) and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in California. Calla studied physics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and is originally from Sandy, Utah. In 2018, Calla left to join NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory media team where she oversees astronomy, physics, exoplanets and the Cold Atom Lab mission. She has been underground at three of the largest particle accelerators in the world and would really like to know what the heck dark matter is. Contact Calla via: E-Mail – Twitter