Last Photo from Space Sent by Tesla Roadster

The SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket lifts off Tuesday from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral Fla

The billionaire CEO of SpaceX hosted a press conference after the company's Falcon Heavy rocket aced its first launch Tuesday.

Musk said on Twitter late Tuesday the payload's trajectory had "exceeded Mars orbit and kept going to the Asteroid Belt".

Before dashing off to the red planet, Mr Musk said he would want to try out this spaceship in orbit around Earth - possibly in three to four years with the supersize rocket - and then the moon.

Going along for the ride in a bit of playful cross-promotional space theatre was the sleek red, electric-powered sports auto from Mr Musk's other transportation enterprise, Tesla Inc.

Musk posted a video of the vehicle on Twitter after launch, in which he can be heard laughing in the background as a camera behind the mannequin's head shows the auto apparently in orbit around Earth.

The Roadster is in an even more elongated orbit now that stretches from Earth on one end, all the way to the neighbourhood of Ceres on the other.

Printed on the car's circuit board is the message, "Made on Earth by Humans".

Yesterday's exciting and admittedly risky launch, SpaceX says, could mean game over for its private space company rivals.

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Falcon Heavy, with three boosters and 27 Merlin engines, makes SpaceX a competitor to United Launch Alliance's Delta IV Heavy, a workhorse for large USA military payloads.

In a typically Musk-ian touch of whimsy, the Falcon's upper stage and test payload is Musk's own old $100,000 cherry red Tesla Roadster sports auto, and a dummy in its driver's seat called Starman rocking to David Bowie's Life on Mars.

The flight of the Falcon Heavy likely bodes well for SpaceX's next rocket, the much larger Big Falcon Rocket (or BFR), now being designed at the company's Hawthorne, California-based headquarters. According to the company, it will cost just $90 million per launch, a fraction of the price of similar heavy-lift rockets.

The space agency is also in an ever-present budget pinch - and behind schedule in building its own super-heavy-lift rocket, called Space Launch System.

But, with its successful launch, and 2 out of 3 boosters successfully recovered, the company has proved that economical yet powerful spaceflight is possible.

Long Lehao, chief carrier rocket designer at the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, told Global Times, published under party mouthpiece People's Daily, that the Long March 9 rocket could be ready within 10 years.

In the meantime, with the Heavy demo out of the way, Musk said SpaceX is putting its commercial crew effort for NASA front and center. The company said in February previous year that the rocket would send two people on a trip around the moon, but Musk said there's been a change of plans.

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