Space sports car now flying toward asteroid belt beyond Mars

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John Raoux
A Falcon 9 SpaceX heavy rocket lifts off from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018. The Falcon Heavy, has three first-stage boosters, strapped together with 27 engines in all. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

By MARCIA DUNN, AP Aerospace Writer
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — The world’s first space sports car is cruising toward the asteroid belt, well beyond Mars.
SpaceX chief Elon Musk confirmed the new, more distant route for his rocketing Tesla Roadster, which was launched aboard the company’s Falcon Heavy from Florida.
The Heavy became the most powerful rocket flying today with Tuesday’s inaugural test flight.
Musk says the final firing of the upper stage put his red convertible into a solar orbit that stretches all the way to the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The original plan had the car traveling no farther than Mars.
In the driver seat of the Tesla is a space-suited mannequin nicknamed “Starman.” Musk doesn’t plan to fly people on the Heavy, but is working on an even bigger rocket for deep-space crews.

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