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The Norfolk link to Elon Musk’s amazing SpaceX rocket launch

PUBLISHED: 12:53 07 February 2018

This image from video provided by SpaceX shows the company's spacesuit in Elon Musk's red Tesla sports car which was launched into space on Tuesday. Picture: SpaceX via AP

This image from video provided by SpaceX shows the company's spacesuit in Elon Musk's red Tesla sports car which was launched into space on Tuesday. Picture: SpaceX via AP

A car with a strong link to Norfolk is hurtling through space after a high-profile launch from Florida.

A Falcon 9 SpaceX heavy rocket lifts off from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. Picture: AP Photo/John RaouxA Falcon 9 SpaceX heavy rocket lifts off from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. Picture: AP Photo/John Raoux

The Falcon Heavy rocket has been launched from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida and a Tesla Roadster was used to test the aircraft’s carrying capacity, or payload.

The Roadster is comprised of parts manufactured by companies from across the globe, including Norfolk-based Lotus.

The spacecraft is comprised of three Falcon 9 rockets strapped together and is designed to deliver a maximum payload of 64 tonnes in low-Earth orbit. However, as maiden flights are notoriously unpredictable, the Tesla Roadster was used as a lighter dummy payload.

The rocket was launched by SpaceX and the cherry red car is owned by chief executive Elon Musk. A mannequin in a space suit has been positioned in the driver’s seat and David Bowie’s Space Oddity is playing on loop from the stereo.

The car is expected to travel around 400 million kilometres from Earth, at a speed of 11km per second.

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