Crowds cheered wildly as the world’s most powerful rocket for 45 years soared away from Kennedy Space Center in Florida
Last night an unmanned test flight seemed to have opened the door to future missions to the moon, Mars and beyond.
Hoisted on the nose cone was a red Tesla Roadster car belonging to Mr Musk, the founder of SpaceX and Tesla. There was also a Dummy Astronaut at the wheel and the stereo programmed to play Space Oddity by David Bowie. It is a journey to reach an Earth-Mars orbit around the Sun at 24,000km/h.
Cameras on the Tesla car showed Starman — the name of the the dummy astronaut — cruising along with the earth looming large below and the cosmos spread out before him.
Parents stayed away from work while children stayed out of school. Generations of families piled into cars and joined the procession of traffic to the Kennedy Space Center and surrounding Florida space coast region. It was as if they were on a pilgrimage. In parks, in bars, outside offices and in the streets, they turned their faces northeast and hoped.