SpaceX’s launch, which suffered several delays before its final departure, successfully pulled the Falcon Heavy rocket into space.
The Falcon Heavy, billed as the most powerful rocket to launch from NASA’s Atlas V, rushed into space as it was loaded with a cherry red Tesla Roadster owned by the SpaceX owner , Elon Musk.
The billionaire business mogul sent the electric car into orbit because normal testing is too “boring.”
He said: “Test flights of new rockets usually contain mass simulators in the form of concrete or steel blocks. It seemed extremely boring.
“Of course, anything boring is terrible, especially business, so we decided to send something unusual, something that made us feel.
“The payload will be an original Tesla Roadster, playing Space Oddity, in a billion-year elliptical orbit with Mars.”
Watch a live webcam feed as the SpaceX Tesla heads to Mars on an epic journey.
Musk uploaded an impressive diagram of the car’s trajectory, showing it missed Mars’ orbit and looped back to the inner solar system before reaching Jupiter.
He tweeted: “Third successful burn. Passed the orbit of Mars and continued towards the asteroid belt.
On Wednesday, the US Air Force Space Command announced that it had added the Tesla Roadster to the small catalog of the US state.
SpaceX Tesla won’t approach Mars for many months, according to Clifford V Johnson, professor of physics and astronomy at USC.
Tesla launched into space on SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket
He said: “Either way, they’ve shown they can bring something to or near Mars, and that’s great.
“They’ve shown that they can get something this big from the surface of the Earth in Earth orbit, grab most of the vehicle to make it really cheap.
“And then further extend the payload path beyond Earth’s orbit to Mars.”