SpaceX's webcast showed the Tesla Roadster soaring into space on Tuesday, as David Bowie's Space Oddity played in the background.
The words "DON'T PANIC" were visible on the dashboard, a reference to the sci-fi novel the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
The Falcon Heavy launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, the same Nasa pad that was the base for the Apollo-era Moon missions of the 1960s and 1970s.
The Falcon Heavy is essentially three of spaceX's smaller, Falcon 9 rockets strapped together, adding up to a total of 27 engines.
It is designed to carry up to a 64-tonne payload into orbit -- more than the mass of a fully loaded 737 jetliner.
After surviving a five-hour journey through the Van Allen Belt -- a region of high radiation -- the car now embarks on a journey through space that could last a billion years and take it as far as 250,400 million kilometres from Earth, the same as a trip around the equator 10,000 times.