(snapshot from the Tesla Live Feed)
Am I sitting in a tin can
Far above the world
Planet Earth is blue
And there's nothing I can do"
Space Oddity by David Bowie
The point of this launch was not to get a car into space, it was to flight-prove an interesting new rocket that should cut the cost of getting heavy cargo to LEO by 90%. That's why people are excited. What’s wrong with doing as much exploring, inventing and improving our lives while having a nerd’s heap of fun? It doesn’t get better than that. One day we all are going to die. Eventually, our species will become extinct, regardless of which planets we’re on. All species run out.
It's brilliant how a rich engineer with a vision can within 15 years create a Space company employing 6000 engineers, and create pioneering rockets that are reusable drastically cutting costs for governments & companies who want to put satellites into space (often ones you use every day). Then that same company has created a heavy lift vehicle that can one day return man to the moon and create enormous possibilities for scientific exploration of the solar system. The point of the roadster is actually pretty simple...it captures the imagination of a large number of people who love science but aren't scientists. For way too long, those engaged in scientific endeavors have focused on the nuts and bolts of exploration in medicine, engineering, physics, etc., and have ignored the art of all these activities. We graduate people who can do these wonderful activities but cannot talk about them. Hence, financial resources shrivel and disappear, and pure research is underfunded whereas applied research as it relates to corporate interest is the only game in town. If we want to go to Mars, we need to go together, and that will take funding, and that funding should come from the desire to do great things.
If you're a Space Geek, read on.