But Falcon Heavy's inaugural launch has been repeatedly delayed, in part by a 2016 explosion of a Falcon 9 rocket in Florida that destroyed a multimillion-dollar satellite. If the rocket were to explode on launchpad 39A, the conflagration not only would destroy the Falcon Heavy, but also the pad that sent off the Saturn V and NASA's space shuttle fleet. "We could really dial it up to as much performance as anyone could ever want".
One potential market SpaceX may be targeting for Falcon Heavy is the launch of large national security payloads. However, the SLS could cost up to 10 times more than Falcon Heavy.
However, McKnight said "it is [a] huge waste of a handsome auto, so I would be happy to take the brand-new red Tesla off his hands, and he can send my five-year old silver Prius into space".
The company already has some Heavy customers lined up, including the U.S. Air Force. But it comes with some risk.
SpaceX has provided few updates on the status of BFR, but Musk said that the company was making good progress on the vehicle.
After this, the rocket will begin a trans-Mars injection engine burn. If the Falcon Heavy works as advertised, it could provide a low-priced means to send expensive, hefty satellites directly to a particularly desirable altitude known as geostationary orbit, 22,000 miles up, where the satellites can remain permanently stationed over a given spot on Earth.
But if all goes well, the rocket stage will eject the Roadster on a path toward Mars.
"When you're talking about what would be the biggest and largest operational launch vehicle in the world, that adds another dimension of excitement", said Phil Larson, an assistant dean at the University of Colorado at Boulder, who used to work for SpaceX and the Obama administration. "It will be fine".
Musk calls him Starman, and he previously said the vehicle would be playing the David Bowie song with that title during the launch. It's not totally clear what those cameras might capture, though.
What Falcon Heavy means for human space travel: In December 2017, President Donald Trump directed NASA to send humans back to the Moon. Find us on Facebook too!
SpaceX first successfully tested the new recycling system in March of 2017 with its Falcon 9 rocket.
The Falcon Heavy, which succeeded during a January 24 test fire, is comprised of three boosters with a total of 27 engines.
Even before Falcon Heavy's first test, several companies signed up for its services. The destination is deep space, into an orbit about the same distance from the Sun as Mars - but not all that close to the Red Planet itself.
A Tesla Roadster tops SpaceX's Heavy launcher. So it may be a while before we see any tourism trips on either rocket.