NASA fears of a catastrophic collision of Elon Musk's missile

Tesla CEO Elon Musk

"We have to solve passive optical image recognition extremely well in order to be able to drive in any environment and in any conditions", Musk said on today's Tesla quarterly earnings call.

For those who might be anxious that the vehicle will end up as space debris after getting pounded by the space rocks, the asteroids in the belt are actually considerably far away from each other. "Exceeded [the trajectory towards] Mars orbit and kept going to the Asteroid Belt".

Of course, Musk didn't actually plan on the vehicle surviving, so why did he send it up there?

The auto was launched in space on February 6, 2018.

If it reaches orbit, the Roadster will spend several hours traveling through the highly charged Van Allen radiation belts encircling Earth.

Ballast for a rocket debut is usually concrete - "so boring", Musk said in a post-launch news conference.

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SpaceX took a lot of time to develop its powerful rocket, and spent more than half a billion dollars doing so, according to Musk. NASA's version is expected to cost more than 10 times as much.

The 230-foot spacecraft, dubbed the Falcon Heavy, roared into the earth's outer atmosphere at around 4 p.m. EST, with the aid of 27 engines reported to have the thrusting power of 18 Boeing 747 jumbo jets.

Mars is driving all of Musk's space efforts.

No matter what happens - a rocket explosion at the pad or some other calamity - Musk told reporters Monday his company has done everything possible to maximize success and he's at peace at whatever happens.

"It's kind of silly and fun, but I think that silly and fun things are important", said the SpaceX chief. The Falcon Heavy is price-listed at $90 million, a bargain in the business of rockets. USA astronauts have been riding Russian rockets, costing taxpayers tens of millions of dollars a seat, to get to the space station since the shuttle program ended in 2011.

Musk has said the Falcon Heavy could usher people to Mars someday in the future.

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