If development of the BFR is delayed - as Musk's projects have a tendency to be - certifying the Falcon Heavy for crewed mission could still be an option. These engines are said to be more powerful, reliable, and efficient than their predecessors, but even with these advancements, Musk's new platform will require 31 of them to get the behemoth into the sky.
A closely watched point of discussion is the manufacturing progress of Model 3, the first Tesla auto designed for mass production. Or, will the auto and the mannequin driver, named "Starman", make it to Mars orbit? Usually test flights carry nothing of value, like concrete blocks.
Mounted on top of the 70-meter-tall rocket was Musk's own cherry red Tesla Roadster. He's in charge of the carmaker as well as the private space company. You can actually hear David Bowie's Life in Mars playing in the backdrop as Starman (the embodiment of every traveller) flies through space. "It's given me a lot of confidence that we can make the BFR design work".
"It's also one of those things that's kind of exponential, it doesn't seem there's much progress and then suddenly "wow", said Musk". "It's still tripping me out". Look closely for small red lines near the center of the image which mark out the auto.
Either that or an asteroid belt will do the job.
Like so many others, NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold was awe-struck by the livestreaming of "Starman" and his ride.
This was an important success for SpaceX, which now launches commercial satellites, cargo to the International Space Station (ISS), and next year intends to launch American astronauts to the space station, and it was an a great demonstration of American ingenuity and determination. "Awesome! At this speed, two hands on the steering wheel please (hash) Starman".
SpaceX is also not the only one eyeing the moon.
Meanwhile, NASA has been planning a Space Launch System rocket for Mars missions.
The SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket lifts off from launch pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center on February 6, 2018 in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Mars is driving all of Musk's space efforts.
Establishing a colony on Mars is Musk's stated long-term goal and Falcon Heavy is one step in the ambitious project he outlined past year. Two out of the three boosters on this rocket were re-used, and two of the three boosters survived the return for re-use.
Musk revealed his most recent plan at a conference in Australia a year ago.
The company is developing a spacecraft that can fly humans - a first for the company - into orbit.
Rocket recycling is the key to SpaceX's launch cost-cutting strategy.
But Musk was more interested in talking about what SpaceX will build next.
Tesla is making higher-end Model 3s first, costing $50,000 and boasting a longer range than the base-price $35,000 version. He's hoping that will encourage other companies and countries "to raise their sights and say, hey, we can do bigger and better, which is great". Such a yearning reflects how much we have denuded our planet that we consider readying a set of intrepid explorers to colonise space, with humanity's endlessly greedy use depleting our finite resources.