SpaceX made history on Tuesday (6 February) with the launch of its massive Falcon Heavy sending CEO Elon Musk's own midnight-cherry red Tesla Roadster soaring towards Mars. Shortly after launch, Musk tweeted a live video of his car in space along with the driver – a mannequin named "Starman" after the David Bowie song – with one hand on the steering wheel facing towards Earth.
Musk said the car will be playing Bowie's hit song "Space Odyssey" as it travels into deep space.
The words "Don't Panic" can also be seen prominently on the dashboard - a nod to Douglas Adam's 1979 book "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy."
In a 2013 interview, Musk said he first read the philosophical, comedy sci-fi book as an early teenager when he was suffering from an existential crisis and was reading different books trying to figure out the meaning of life.
The intergalactic story follows the adventures of a man named Arthur Dent who hitchhikes his way off of Earth moments before its destruction and finds himself lost in space.
When Musk was once asked about his favourite fictional space ship, he responded with the one in the book named "Heart of Gold."
"The one that's powered by the Improbability Drive," he said. "It does the most unexpected things."
"I read Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy which is quite positive I think and it highlighted an important point which is that a lot of times the question is harder than the answer," told Fresh Dialogues back in 2013. "And if you can properly phrase the question, then the answer is the easy part.
"So, to the degree that we can better understand the universe, then we can better know what questions to ask. Then whatever the question is that most approximates: what's the meaning of life? That's the question we can ultimately get closer to understanding."
Musk also took to Instagram to reveal another message hidden in his Tesla for any entity or alien life-form that may encounter the car in the future. On the Tesla's circuit board are the words "Made on Earth by humans", the photo posted by Musk shows.
SpaceX's Falcon Heavy, deemed the world's most powerful rocket, lifted off at 3:45PM EST from the Kennedy Space Center. The company also managed to successfully the Falcon Heavy's two side boosters nearly simultaneously and intact. The center core, however, missed the landing on the drone ship it was supposed to land on by about 300 feet and hit the water at about 300 miles per hour.
"It was enough to take out two thrusters and shower the deck with shrapnel," Musk said. "We have the video... it sounds like some pretty fun footage, if the cameras didn't get blown up as well."
Acting Nasa administrator Robert Lightfoot said: "All of us in this business know the effort it takes to get to a first flight of any new vehicle and recognize the tremendous accomplishment we witnessed today.
"Watching the Falcon Heavy rise above the historic pad that has been the launch point for so many critical missions is a true testament to the hard work transitioning our nation's launch infrastructure in support of the commercial launch industry."