In case you have not heard, this week’s biggest news yet was the successful launch of SpaceX Merlin 27-engine Falcon Heavy rocket. While the launch was no doubt monumental, but the most interesting part of this successful launch wasn’t entirely the launch itself; it was Elon Musk’s very own Tesla Roadster that was onboard, >hitching a ride into space and it had a dummy in spacesuit called “Starman” behind the wheel. Obviously, there was nothing much a wheeled vehicle with zero thrust and in a vacuum can do – even if the dummy wasn’t a dummy.
But why a car in space? Maybe it was a message to other intelligent life out there saying, “Hey, look, we have made progress! We are trying NOT to suffocate our little blue marble. Finally, right?” Or maybe, it was just heading to the Red Planet for a test drive? Who knows? OK, the reason given was SpaceX, mostly likely just Musk, “thought it would be more worthwhile to launch something fun and without irreplaceable sentimental value.” Anyways, this is not first time unrelated to space exploration objects were sent into space.
Back in the 70s, two Voyager spacecrafts traveled into space with bunch of Earthly ‘artifacts’ relating to music, art, and literature, as its cargo. The idea was, NASA scientists hope that someday, someone or something will pick it up. Ermmm. About that. So, what if ‘they’ did pick it up? Anyways, it is good to know that they did not send any tech-related stuff cos’ surely the alien beings, if they exist, will be puzzled by an ancient tech like cassette tape recorder and 5.25-inch floppy disk. Wait. Is that why they don’t come to Earth because we too low-tech for them? Damn you, NASA! You had to tell them! You had to tell them we only had art, music and the boring as hell, literature!
Third burn successful. Exceeded Mars orbit and kept going to the Asteroid Belt. pic.twitter.com/bKhRN73WHF
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 7, 2018
Anyways, back to the car-in-space. You can see Starman behind the wheel as it rolls, or in this case floats, with the Roadster in space in the video below. Be warned though, it is not as exciting as Star Wars. But the boredom only lasted for a few hours before the third burn pushed it toward the asteroid belt and away from the Red Planet orbit which SpaceX had originally planned. At this point, you can probably guess that the Roadster is not coming home, ever.
Starman and it’s trusty ride will keep going for an infinite amount time until it is eventually destroy but space debris or the many tiny asteroids speeding through space. Rest in peace, Starman (for whenever you may face your demise). You will forever be remembered as the brave soul-less object to take Musk’s Roadster on hundreds of millions journey through space.
Image: Elon Musk.