The last picture from SpaceX’s Tesla


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Capitalism in space: SpaceX has highlighted the last image from its Tesla car, heading out to the asteroid belt after being lofted into space by its Falcon Heavy rocket.

The image at the link is truly cool, as it also highlights that a private American company was able to send a payload beyond Earth orbit, and it took them only seven years of development and no government funds.

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4 comments

  • Kirk

    If the orientation of that photo seems strange, it’s because the Earth is shown “south up”, and that is the morning terminator, not the evening terminator. So the Roadster is indeed headed Marsward and not Venusward.

  • Max

    Nice picture, this guy really knows how to do publicity.
    I’m already thinking about buying the posters for my grandchildren.
    You can even see the tiny roadster with the tiny star man glued to the dashboard…

    The only thing that would make this scene even better is if he had put an iconic robot in the passenger seat. Perhaps with a cell phone charging cord from the cigarette lighter to its chest with a HGG book in one hand and a white fluffy towel draped over his other arm (as suggested earlier).
    Perhaps Bigelow could’ve added a additional package of a blowup hotel connected by a strap with a sign out front “Intergalactic Hotel” and/or “restaurant at the end of the universe”

    As a practical person, I cringe to think of the opportunitys lost. With planning, they may have had time to install fold out solar panels from under the chassis to maintain power to the large batteries.
    With off the shelf gyros, the panels could face the sun and reduce the amount of weathering from solar radiation. Allowing The cameras to look at near earth objects exposed by onboard pulsing radar. (as well as monitoring the windshield for dust buildup, micro meteor damage, the effects of Solar weathering of common materials, and the growth of unusual bacteria from the construction of the car in a non-sterile environment)
    There are hundreds of satellites/science projects constructed for space, ready to go, that never were launched. Just sitting in storage or on the shelf in a university that would have loved to take advantage of a free trip to inter-solar space.
    It could also act as a navigational beacon, communication relay, and a mini AM/FM Wi-Fi, shortwave broadcast of Elon musk’s favorite hits… With a red and green strobe light on the probability Drive, it would be an object to search the heavens for for many generations to come.

  • Localfluff

    I bet Elon will bring Tesla cars to Mars when he moves there in a couple of decades. Will be the only brand for sale there.

  • Edward

    From the article: “Starman and Musk’s Roadster are in an elliptical orbit around the sun. At their closest point to the sun, they will fly just inside the Earth’s orbit. At their farthest away, they’ll be 243 million miles (390 million kilometers) from the sun. For comparison, Earth’s average distance from the sun is about 93 million miles (150 million km). Mars orbits the sun at 142 million miles (228 million km).

    It looks like SpaceX overshot the orbit of Mars, as they said was their goal. Did Falcon Heavy perform better than expected or did SpaceX intend to go higher than Mars orbit all this time?

    By the way, overshooting the orbit intended is not such a good thing. It is possible that SpaceX was not shooting for a specific orbit, but the news reports before the flight made it sound as though they had one in mind. They may have been testing the maximum capability of the Falcon Heavy, not its ability to hit the target orbit.

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