It’s a Bird! It’s A Plane! No, It’s a Rocket Propelled Flying Tesla!

Yes, I know you’ve probably already heard about this, but its been a busy Christmas. I actually tried to tell you all about it in an earlier attempt to discuss all the cool space things coming up in 2018, but the WordPress app accidentally deleted the article instead of posting it. I’ll still rewrite that, maybe, but not right now. 

Elon Musk, founder and CEO of SpaceX, thinks that the typical payload for a test rocket launch…water or concrete…is boring, and that companies that do boring things fail. So instead of launching inert ballast into space in the upcoming first launch of the new Falcon Heavy orbital launch vehicle…

…he’s sending his car.

That’s right. The super quick, first edition, cherry-red, 2008 Tesla Roadster all electric muscle car that he has been driving is about to become the fastest car in history, if the launch succeeds, or be blown to smithereens if the launch fails.

The design of the Falcon Heavy has been computer simmed and wind-tunnel tested as far as possible, but rockets are still such fickle things that one never really knows for sure if it will function as designed until actual flight. An important and expensive satellite cannot ride on such a chancy launch.

Elon recently unveiled the prototype of an upgrade to the roadster design coming out in 2019, so he already has a new car to drive. Apparently billionaire Elon Musk considers his old-model car, valued at a quarter million dollars new, is expendable as advertising for both companies.

The Falcon Heavy will be the heaviest lifter to fly since the Saturn V that carried the Apollo missions to the Moon…and can carry an object the size of a Tesla (and more) to Mars. That’s where the car is going. It’s a little early for the Mars launch window, so it’ll miss the planet by a few weeks, but if it succeeds then the flight will at least prove the rocket’s capability and drum up business for it as an interplanetary launch vehicle.

If the rocket fails, then data from the failure will be used to correct whatever caused it and they’ll have a more tested design to fly. Plus, we’ll all get to see what happens when enough kerosene to send a Tesla to Mars looks like when it explodes, and all he’ll have lost is a $90 million rocket and a $1/4 million car (and maybe a launch pad…again…but let’s hope not).

What’s in it for you? Well, which would you prefer to see in January to kick-off the 2018 space launch season…an epic launch that causes an electric hot rod to enter permanent Solar orbit playing “Space Odity” on the radio, or an epic explosion that causes that same electric hot rod to rain down on the Atlantic in small burning pieces?

Let us all know in the comments.

Oh, and by the way that weird thing you folks in California saw in the Western sky last Friday night wasn’t a UFO, it was a “Twilight Event” from another SpaceX launch that put ten more Iridium satellites into orbit.

~ by Bill Housley on December 28, 2017.

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