The SpaceX "Mars Rocket" arrives at Cape Canaveral


Elon Musk said in a tweet on Thursday that the electric vehicle maker will soon launch some "cool" software updates. But if there was any lingering doubt, he made it clear Friday that SpaceX does indeed intend to launch a Tesla Roadster on the maiden flight of its Falcon Heavy rocket.

For anyone that still thought that Musk was joking, he put those thoughts to rest today with a few images posted to Instagram.

He said earlier this month that he wants to send the auto into "Mars orbit".

SpaceX's three-booster Falcon Heavy rocket in a hangar at Cape Canaveral in December 2017. Thus, while the release of Tesla's Full Self-Driving feature appears to be delayed, the upcoming navigation overhaul for early 2018 might be the electric carmaker's way of paving the way for more advanced Autopilot features to follow.

Athletes join Diddy's proposal to buy the Carolina Panthers
If hired, it would signal quite the competition between Kaepernick and Cam Newton for the top spot. And if he can get the team, he'd like Colin Kaepernick to be part of it. "Spread the word.

Earlier this year, Musk posted a teaser showing how the Falcon Heavy launch might look when it takes place in a matter of weeks. This highly elliptical path goes out to the orbit of Mars, then back to Earth orbit on a near-endless loop (hence the "billion years or so" detail from Musk).

The image shows what appears to be a first generation Tesla Roadster (not the recently unveiled next gen) on a platform fitted on a SpaceX payload attach fitting.

It's unlikely the Tesla will be empty, just playing David Bowie's song "Space Oddity" on repeat. Musk's response suggests that Tesla is thinking far behind simple map updates with its new navigation software, and instead will be making top-to-bottom changes to how the system works overall across its vehicles.

"Just bear in mind that there is a good chance this monster rocket blows up", Musk reportedly told Plait in an email, "so I wouldn't put anything of irreplaceable sentimental value on it".