Tesla owners' photos to be sent to space aboard SpaceX rocket this week

Electric car company launched the referral programme to give customers an incentive to refer other buyers

This still image taken from a SpaceX livestream video shows "Starman" sitting in SpaceX CEO Elon Musk's cherry red Tesla roadster after the Falcon Heavy rocket delivered it into orbit around the Earth on February 6, 2018.
Screams and cheers erupted at Cape Canaveral, Florida as the massive rocket fired its 27 engines and rumbled into the blue sky over the same NASA launchpad that served as a base for the US missions to Moon four decades ago. / AFP PHOTO / SPACEX / HO / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / SPACEX" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
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Tesla owners who took part in the company's referral programme are set to have their pictures sent to space aboard a SpaceX flight this month.

Under the initiative, which was unveiled in 2018, Tesla car owners who referred another buyer were offered the chance to have their image etched on to glass by laser as part of a mosaic and sent to space.

At the time, Tesla and SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk tweeted at the time owners that “any pic you want” would be accepted.

The initiative was part of Phase 9 of the Tesla Referral Programme, which ended on February 2, 2019. Owners who qualified had to submit their chosen picture by June 30, 2022.

A post on Tesla's website, titled “Thank you Tesla owners”, confirmed that the images would be sent to space aboard SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket that will carry the Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter (KPLO), South Korea's first lunar mission, on Thursday.

“Tesla's mission is to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy — thank you for your support in making it a reality,” it said.

“Your photo will be launched into space on the KPLO mission on August 4, 2022.”

The KPLO is to orbit the Moon for a year carrying an array of South Korean experiments and one US-built instrument.

It will set off for the Moon from Nasa's Kennedy Space Centre.

Mr Musk famously sent a Tesla Roadster car into space in 2018. The car was used as cargo aboard his company’s Falcon Heavy rocket during a test flight.

A mannequin dressed in a SpaceX spacesuit, called “Starman”, was strapped in behind the wheel.

Tracking website whereisroadster.com, which uses Nasa data, placed the car 294.5 million kilometres from Earth at the time of writing.

It has completed about 2.9379 orbits around the Sun since its launch more than four years ago.

Updated: August 01, 2022, 12:39 PM