-Arathy A.S – B.Tech S3
The Falcon Heavy’s boosters burned for 154 seconds before they were jettisoned into space. Free from the main body of the rocket, they spun 180 degrees and arced back towards the earth, burning their engines again as they descended to Cape Canaveral, to land, smoothly, improbably upright, within a second of one other. Meanwhile, the main rocket pushed on, preparing to bring the world an even less credible sight. Four minutes into the flight, the nose cone broke apart to reveal its payload: a cherry-red electric sports car, with the top down, in space – a PR stunt for the ages.
It was all brought to you by Elon Musk
The sports car in the nosecone was one of Mr. Musk’s own Tesla Roadsters. Its stereo was programmed to play David Bowie’s Space Oddity on repeat as it travels for millions of years through space. Or until the battery dies, anyway.
The ways that the mission and the rocket at the center of it are used will come to define our future, too. It is the beginning of the most important market in the universe, and some of the most spectacular trips ever seen; we are going to leave the Earth and explore the planets of our solar system, it seems, and a Tesla car and the dummy inside it have had a taste of that future.
Why the hype you say?
The installation of Mr. Musk’s own car in the rocket is a sign of the real reason this launch is such a big deal: it is being done by a man with a flair for a story, and the desire to make people talk about him and what he’s doing. There’s no reason for the car to be going to space apart from as a talking point – indeed, the rocket could carry some important scientific instruments instead – but when viewed as a publicity stunt for a private space company that hopes to be the future of corporate space travel, everything makes a little more sense.