SpaceX's Music Video of a Falcon Heavy Launching Elon Musk's Car to Mars Is Awesome

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 for complete coverage of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy test flight this week. You can watch the liftoff live here at, courtesy of SpaceX, or directly via SpaceX.

Email Tariq Malik at or follow him @tariqjmalik and Google+. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on

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Tariq Malik

Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik.