CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — After weeks of anticipation, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has released his music video animation of his company's first Falcon Heavy rocket launching a car to Mars. And, as you'd expect, it's awesome. (Check it out above.)
"Falcon Heavy sends a car to Mars," Musk wrote on Twitter as he unveiled the music video, which sets the launch to the tune of "Life on Mars?" by David Bowie. You can watch it on YouTube here.
The 3-minute-and-27-second video starts with a view of Earth, zooming in on Florida and Cape Canaveral to show the Falcon Heavy atop Launch Pad 39A here at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. A cutaway shows how the car, Musk's own Tesla Roadster (in midnight cherry red), is canted up at a jaunty angle inside the protective nose cone atop the Falcon Heavy.
Then, the launch: Liftoff is set for tomorrow (Feb. 6) at 1:30 p.m. EST (1830 GMT). Musk's video shows that moment, with Falcon Heavy's three first-stage boosters igniting their 27 Merlin rocket engines as they power up the booster toward space.
The two side boosters separate and fall away, returning to Earth to land on two SpaceX landing pads at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The center core separates later and lands on SpaceX's drone ship "Of Course I Still Love You."
The upper stage continues on, with the nose cone's protective fairing separating to reveal the Roadster and its inanimate driver, which Musk calls "Starman." Not surprisingly, the spacesuit-clad Starman is in the driver's seat, with its left arm resting on the driver's-side door and right hand presumably on the wheel.
After the upper stage separates from the payload, the car continues ever on in an orbit that, according to Musk, will send it swinging near Mars. It's an awesome animation for sure, and promises one heck of a ride for SpaceX's Starman.
Of course, the animation only holds if everything goes exactly right for SpaceX's Falcon Heavy test flight. Musk himself has said there's a fair chance the launch could fail, as this is the debut of an entirely new rocket.
Visit Space.com for complete coverage of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy test flight this week. You can watch the liftoff live here at Space.com, courtesy of SpaceX, or directly via SpaceX.
Email Tariq Malik at email@example.com or follow him @tariqjmalik and Google+. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on Space.com.