Billionaire SpaceX founder Elon Musk previously stated that his SpaceX company is planning to launch space tourism as early as this year and the successful launch this morning of powerful rocket Falcon Heavy brings that plan closer to reality.

The Falcon Heavy is the most powerful rocket ship ever sent into space by a private company and follows SpaceX's success with its smaller Falcon 9 rocket which since 2010, according to The New York Times, has been travelling in space, "...deploying satellites and carrying cargo to crews aboard the International Space Station."

The Falcon Heavy is carrying Musk's red Tesla sports car with, according to The New York Times,  "a mannequin wearing one of SpaceX's spacesuits," strapped into the car proving that the rocket can carry large payloads safely. A message in the car reads, "Don't Panic," - a classic line from Douglas Adam's cult sci-fi book The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

The rocket carrying Musk's Tesla is on a trajectory to orbit Mars - a planet which The New York Times reports Musk expects humans to be able to inhabit in the future - largely thanks to entrepreneurs like him who are investing in the next frontier: space.

Watch the exciting launch here:


3, 2, 1: SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket launches!