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RightNation.US: Shooting a Tesla into orbit: A slap in the face to real science - RightNation.US

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Legacy is most often achieved quietly, not with splashy stunts and monuments.

Several weeks ago, Peter Beck launched his "Humanity Star" into orbit (AKA: Disco Ball in Space), and criticism came fast and freely; just more space junk to clutter up the views in our telescopes. Then Elon Musk shot a Tesla roadster into space, and market prices of Mattel Hot Wheels® replicas have surged. What the hell?

I readily admit that the choreographed images of Musk's Tesla space-shot stunt are pretty neat, but only because they remind me of the animated 1981 movie Heavy Metal, with its 1959 Corvette Soft Landing. (Don't even try to tell me that wasn't the inspiration!) Point being: Anyone could have launched an automobile into space in the last FIFTY years… they didn't because there were more important things to do.

Hence:

Shooting a Tesla into orbit: A slap in the face to real science
Keith A. Spencer02.12.2018•7:00 PM
Copyright © 2018 Salon Media Group, Inc.
Source; excerpts follow:

Quote

Every power-hungry titan in history has had dreams of immortality. This has never been practically achieved — only metaphorically. From the pharaohs to the numerous libraries funded by Andrew Carnegie to the many, many universities and hospitals named for their donors, it's a general rule that when you reach a certain amount of wealth and power, the best way to ensure your name lives on in perpetuity is to slap it on a building, monument or foundation.

This tangent about philanthropy is more relevant to Elon Musk's recent car-launching stunt than it might seem…

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5 Comments On This Entry

It was a test flight. You don't put valuable scientific equipment in a test rocket that has a good chance of exploding on launch. He could have filled it with rocks or lead bricks, but chose a fancy car as the weight to be lifted if the rocket worked.
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imposter, on 13 February 2018 - 10:04 PM, said:

It was a test flight. You don't put valuable scientific equipment in a test rocket that has a good chance of exploding on launch. He could have filled it with rocks or lead bricks, but chose a fancy car as the weight to be lifted if the rocket worked.


I entirely agree; and, according to this article: “… [T]he Tesla Roadster payload was the backup after NASA, the U.S. Air Force and others declined to fly a satellite for free atop the untested rocket.” I have no problem with that.

My critical point is that SpaceX did not plan to have the car reenter Earth’s atmosphere and burn up, or fall into the sun and be obliterated. Their apparent intent was to have it floating around out there, on its way towards Mars or elsewhere. That’s essentially interplanetary “littering”; I’m disappointed in Musk for that decision, and I’m disappointed in the larger community for not making more of a stink about it (especially after the way that Beck was treated).

Of course, the photos are still cool!
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I was surprised the article did not mention Elon Musk's worse scientific blunder, the hyperloop.
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'“Every good scientist is half B.F Skinner and half P.T Barnum'
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Maybe on another planet they will find the solution to the mystery of Elon's odd accent.
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