At last, something to cheer about

Image: SpaceX

This week Elon Musk’s company SpaceX successfully launched the world’s most powerful rocket and put his personal Tesla roadster into space, complete with the dummy “Starman” at the wheel. Shades of P.T. Barnum. But, WOW!

Just like the old days with NASA launches, I got goosebumps when those gigantic engines fired up and Falcon Heavy lifted off the pad. And just as I was digesting those videos (I missed the live telecast), another one came across showing two booster rockets landing successfully and simultaneously. To quote the kids, “Mind blown!”

I love this stuff. I’d prefer NASA do it, but still, I can’t get enough of it. SpaceX was hoping for a Mars orbit but overshot it. I don’t care. There’s something silly and yet magnificent about launching a red roadster into space.

Image: SpaceX

 



Categories: Sci/Tech, space

17 replies

  1. I agree. It was phenomenal! And all those young smart people cheering for their success…gives one hope in our presently crazy world

  2. Absolutely hysterical and wonderful – I’m asking him for commemorative T-shirts. We need to keep the excitement and creativity on hyper drive.
    (Actually NASA was populated by private contractors – their office signs were/are everywhere., so it’s really not much different except the gov salaries are dragging the budget down…may turn out to be a more productive – shame gov. didn’t do a better job as it would have been more open/fo humanity and less profit driven…but politics ruins everything.)
    One thing that really bothered me is a neighborhood mom saying she picked up her daughter that afternoon at middle school and asked what the kids’ reactions to the event was – and the girls didn’t know anything about it – not one word/image/discussion about it in science, history, creative writing/thinking…zero – zilch.
    So much for sparking kids’ interest and making sure they experienced history. The mom took her kid right home and they watched it over and over again.
    We need that enthusiasm, that excitement, those dreams to build and take hold

  3. Hard to imagine schools not telling about this. Could it be that’s it’s a private enterprise and not the government? At least it was all over the news.

  4. I thought, by the heading, that chump oooops trump, had resigned; couldn’t be that lucky.

    Must admit that anything like this grabs me, although it was a terrible waste of money really, I read that this vehicle will circle the sun for 100’s of millions of years, long after humans are extinct I’d imagine.

    What I think would have been better had the car been pointed out into deeper space and told GO and just keep travelling out forever, now wouldn’t that have been something, just imagine in a few hundred million years time coming upon a new earth way out in space and time?

  5. I heard about this after the fact, and would have watched, had I known. I agree, kids would have loved it, and would remember it for the rest of their lives—or maybe not, since there seems to be a new and amazing scientific event almost every day!

    • You may be right. With all the amazing technology we have today, maybe a space launch like this isn’t nearly as big a deal as it was “back in the day.” I’m still boggled that our moon astronauts were using computers no more powerful than our cellphones today.

  6. Little late to comment but surprisingly most kids, including my own thought it was boring or had no interest. My youngest son(5th grade) walked in from the bus literally 10sec before liftoff, I was home begging him to watch the launch and he refused. I actually was angry and disappointed, kinda took it personally because I’m a lifelong space geek and for several years during the shuttle program I actually worked on the historic launch pad 39A, the same one the Falcon Heavy just used, I also worked on pad 37B(Delta IV).

    My wife is a Middle school teacher, she said very few saw it or cared about it. Luckily, the Librarian/media center teacher forced every student to watch the replays.

    Things have definitely changed, no longer do kids look at spaceflight in awe. Instead its the latest degenerate hip-hop “artist”. Trust me, I don’t sit back passively either, I’ve tried to get them interested in many hands-on STEM-related hobbies but I still don’t seem to make any headway.

    • I was in high school when the US launched its first satellites into orbit, and every classroom had a TV on to watch. For years afterward, friends and family gathered to watch launches and recoveries of manned missions. The moon landings were extraordinary. And years later, at work, everyone gathered to watch the Challenger launch … and disaster. I don’t know why kids today don’t care. Maybe it’s because the media don’t hype it enough anymore. Maybe their electronic gadgets and video games and superhero movies have reduced space flight to just another ho-hum experience. Those of us who sweated and prayed through those early missions — return of Apollo 13, the first men on the moon — know better.

      And btw, thank you wife for being a teacher. It’s a tough, thankless job these days, shamefully underfunded and unappreciated. And yet the future of the country is in her hands.

      • Im not old enough to have witnessed the history you have though Id give my left nut to have! I am old enough to remember sitting on the roof with my father trying to see Skylabs reentry(missed it). I also watched STS-1, still vividly remember the event, think it was a Sunday morning 1981, even had a shirt with the shuttle on it. We took so much risk back then. A untested manned flight like the first shuttle would never occur nowadays!

        Theres a massive culture change that has occured. Every older generation usually looks at the younger in the “let me tell you whippersnapper” type way but IDK, I feel the change is much greater than normal. It will create negative concenquences. We, especially you (no offence!) are witnessing the largest generational/cultural/technological changes in history. It may be a make or break period for humanity.

        Thanks for the teacher comment! Luckily where we live(Calvert County MD) my wife is well compensated for her job. I have lived in other areas of the US (Florida) where the pay for teachers is an insult. I dont know how they are able to find the teachers to do it!

        • I may have seen the beginning of the space age, but you’re likely to see some of our greatest triumphs, things I was hoping to see like a permanent settlement on the moon and manned landings on Mars. And heaven only knows what’s out there still waiting to be discovered.

          I agree with you that the last couple of decades seem to have hosted revolutionary changes and upheavals. Far more rapid advancements than the evolutionary changes I’ve seen most of my life.

“I cannot be an optimist but I am a prisoner of hope.” ~ Cornel West

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