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David Bowie Finally Got to Mars via Elon Musk’s Tesla

Tech
Feb 7, 2018

David Bowie Finally Got to Mars via Elon Musk’s Tesla

BY : BENJI KARMIS

David Bowie Finally Got to Mars via Elon Musk’s Tesla

Starman has arrived...

The soon-to-be fastest sports car of all time, space travel via gargantuan rockets, and Ziggy Stardust. They’re a few of our favorite things of all time, and thanks to Elon Musk (AKA our real-life Bruce Wayne), they’re all  involved in what promised to be one of the most memorable rocket launches ever. That’s right – SpaceX launched Elon Musk’s own Tesla Roadster into an endless ellipsis around Mars and Earth all while blasting David Bowie’s “A Space Oddity,” all with a dummy wearing their newest spacesuit in the driver’s seat, aptly named “Starman.”

It’s clearly a special event, but what makes this launch so especially ground breaking? First off, the rocket on center stage is SpaceX’s new Falcon Heavy, which is able to launch a payload about two times heavier than any other rocket in the world. That’s 64 metric tonnes, or as SpaceX likes to put it, “more than a 737 jetliner filled with passengers, luggage, and fuel.” Plus, it manages to do so at a third of the cost as well thanks to the famed reusability of SpaceX rockets.

The Falcon Heavy lift off

So why did Elon Musk send his own personal Tesla off towards the stars? The official license from the Federal Aviation Administration claims that the modified Tesla Roadster will be used as a mass simulator. But in reality, Musk did it because he can. He’s been known to pull these types of shenanigans before, like when he reminded us about that time he launched a block of cheese as the first payload of one of his earlier rockets, or when he quite randomly decided to make one of his companies sell a “Not a Flamethrower.” In addition to it being a “stellar” marketing move, why not launch your car into space if you have the chance?

 

Then there’s the incorporation of David Bowie, which is perhaps the most interesting twist to the story. Bowie always had an interest in space, observable from anthems you should have hopefully heard at house parties, like “Starman,” and “Life on Mars,” As you might imagine, this has made Bowie an inspiration to quite a few astronauts because of their shared interests in the cosmos. In fact, then-commander of the International Space Station Chris Hadfield made fitting cover of “A Space Oddity” from space, which Bowie himself dubbed as “possibly the most poignant version of the song ever created.”

Like many space pioneers before him, Elon Musk has always been a Bowie fan. He will rightfully get to launch his own part in the Space Oddity Saga, as a thank-you for inspiring so many in the space realm since the release of Bowie’s track in 1969. Plus, there’s just something special about Bowie’s imagination on what space travel would be like, so I’d bet my protein pills and helmet that Bowie would be pleased.

 

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