Musk has for Falcon Heavy's first flight, saying there was a "good chance" the vehicle would not make it to orbit on its first launch, but that the flight was "guaranteed to be exciting". Musk said at a conference in July that he expects the test flight to fail. "The payload will be an original Tesla Roadster, playing Space Oddity, on a billion year elliptic Mars orbit". A post that appeared on Instagram today shows he was dead serious.
SpaceX's three-booster Falcon Heavy rocket in a hangar at Cape Canaveral in December 2017.
But, noticeably, the reusable rocket system is missing the clamshell top, or fairing, in the images. The Falcon Heavy rocket is powerful enough to launch a fully-populated 737 jet into orbit, and is created to carry human cargo into space. Falcon Heavy is also up to the task: It can ferry a payload of 37,000 pounds - roughly 14 Tesla Roadsters' worth of mass - to Mars. And if that wasn't freakish enough, it'll be playing David Bowie's 1969 classic Space Oddity as it heads toward the red planet, powered by the Heavy's second-stage engines.
Musk also hinted that more software updates might be on the way.
But it might be something else in Carmack's background that interests Musk, as Carmack pointed out in a tweet of his own in response to a Business Insider report: Carmack and Musk helped found the Commercial Spaceflight Federation in 2005.