After he watched his Falcon Heavy rocket carry a Tesla car towards the outer reaches of space, Elon Musk could finally breathe a sigh of relief and crack a smile.
“I had this image of a giant explosion on the pad, with a wheel bouncing down the road and the Tesla logo landing somewhere with a thud,” Musk told reporters. “But fortunately, that’s not what happened.”
The rocket’s second stage has made it to orbit and the critical part of the whole Falcon 9 design is that the first stages have now returned to Earth and can be reused.
That’s the most spectacular part of the Elon Musk masterplan, in a way, that these rockets can charge into space and then find their way back home to save money. It has changed the whole space race and Amazon boss Jeff Bezos is following the same blueprint.
One of the booster rockets missed its landing on a drone ship entirely and hit the water at 300mph. It also smashed into the drone ship, knocking out two of its engines.
The rocket, that was meant to orbit Mars, has overshot by like a gazillion miles, too, and is now taking that Tesla into an asteroid belt for the ultimate crash test.
Despite these small issues, SpaceX has still hailed this launch as a resounding success.
“It sounds like some pretty fun footage, so if the cameras didn’t get blown up as well, then we’ll put that out for a blooper reel,” said Musk.
SpaceX then went to work with a live stream from inside the second stage. A Tesla car is now in orbit and that was something to behold, with the Earth passing by in the distance behind it.
“I think it looks so ridiculous and impossible,” Musk said. “You can tell it’s real because it looks so fake, honestly. We’d have way better CGI if it was fake. The colors all look kind of weird in space. There’s no atmospheric occlusion; everything’s too crisp.”
There is literally a mannequin in the driver’s seat of the Tesla. They have even put a model car inside with an even smaller artificial driver and there is no real scientific value to this.
“It’s just literally a normal car in space — I kind of like the absurdity of that,” Musk said. “It’s kind of silly and fun, but I think that silly, fun things are important … I think the imagery of it is something that’s going to get people excited around the world, and it’s still tripping me out. I’m tripping balls here.”
“It’s just going to be out there in space for maybe millions or billions of years. Maybe discovered by some future alien race thinking ‘What the heck? What were these guys doing? Did they worship this car? Why do they have a little car in the car? And that’ll really confuse them.”
We like Elon Musk. He’s definitely nuts, but it’s good to know that someone shaping the human race can say talk about ‘ripping balls’, when his rocket takes his car into the atmosphere.
He still reckons we’re on course to go to Mars by 2025 and it’s looking harder and harder to doubt him.
This post first appeared on Boys Toys, the authority on tech, gadgets and more.