Idiot is idiot

The much-anticipated launch of Musk’s Falcon Heavy rocket, the most powerful ever launched by a private company, went off without a hitch. Musk successfully sent his cherry-red Tesla roadster hurtling toward Mars, launching what a CNN commentator called “a new space age”.

There is, perhaps, no better way to appreciate the tragedy of 21st-century global inequality than by watching a billionaire spend $90m launching a $100,000 car into the far reaches of the solar system.

Twat. All new launchers are tested with a valueless payload before anyone entrusts anything important to them.

32 thoughts on “Idiot is idiot”

  1. My final year undergraduate project was to do with rocketry and was supervised by a charming old gent from the space-science lab. The test flight you are describing used to be called the “battleship test” because the test mass was made up of any old scrap and heavy gauge plate they could find cheaply. The rocket ended up looking like a battleship with “armour plate” bolted on everywhere.

  2. The closer approach of an infinite space-based future and all some marxxist twat and the Gladrag can do is whine.

  3. It’s a scandal that we are squandering resources on developing this ‘wheel’ thing when there are people dying…

  4. “That reason is that he killed a prostitute in Vegas, and put her in the trunk of his car.”
    Then who was in the spacesuit?

  5. Yes, they could have used scrap instead of the car, but $100,000 to send the car up is pretty cheap when you think how much publicity he’s got.

  6. You wouldn’t get a Vegas girl into the trunk of a Tesla Roadster, which is no more than an already trunkless Lotus Elise with every space full of batteries.

  7. He initially put the girl in the trunk of a real car. You think he drives that Tesla garbage in real life?

    He’s now removed the batteries from the trunk of the car on the rocket, because it doesn’t need any batteries, so there’s room for the body.

    He couldn’t put her in the spacesuit because he stuffed that full of old porno mags that he wanted to throw out but was worried about being seen.

  8. “During the joint Senate-NASA presentation in September 2011, it was stated that the SLS program had a projected development cost of $18 billion through 2017, with $10 billion for the SLS rocket, ”

    Someone should tell the Guardian. That looks like an even bigger “waste” of money. Though, government spending = good, private spending = bad, so maybe no story there.

  9. I can think of nothing better than a gazillionaire spending his own money on throwing shizzle in to space. Saves taxpayers doing it…

  10. It is my sincere wish that the irredeemably cretinous Nathan Robinson never procreates. Ideally a 10p sized meteorite would penetrate his armour-plated skull at N km/s and end his and our misery humanely.

  11. He is – literally – burning his own money. And so what? It’s his to burn.

    Would Nathan prefer the government burn it instead, because they surely would, and provide less of a spectacle!

  12. @HDVN

    In other news LVPD have started a space program on the grounds that they have credible and true evidence a crime has been committed….

  13. Is it just me, or did Elon Musk spend too mych time watching Heavy Metal as a kid. The imagary broadcast mirrors the opening scene of the movie.

  14. Rhyds, if you think Elon Musk has spunked his own money on his vanity project, I have a bridge connecting Brooklyn with downtown Manhattan for sale.

  15. Rhyds and JuliaM…

    I very much doubt that Musk is “spending his own money” except in the very loosest technical sense. None of his companies (as far as I’m aware), despite receiving massive grants and tax-advantages, has ever come within a country parsec of making a profit and thus any money spent is either his (gullible) shareholders’ or the unfortunate taxpayer’s.

  16. Puuhlease . . . a ten-year old Tesla Roadster is NOT a $100,000 car. It’s value is just above scrap. Mostly because of it’s provenance.

  17. The payload was not valueless. It was a unique attention-getter, for the portion of the public not interested in a private space launch on its own.

    It is so brainless to focus on the squandering of showy wealth (even when it was not squandered), this while people beg for spare change on the street corner. Musk did not cause their misery, and as JuliaM notes, it was his to send into space if he saw fit.

  18. @ Tim
    The Tesla Roadster is deemed by many to be a valueless payload. There are two letters in today’s FT emphasising that – Mark Peaker’s is excellent and I shall risk the wrath of theFT’s copyright lawyer by quoting “Sir, Elon Musk rejoices in the fact that there is now a Tesla in orbit. Ido not shae his joy. There is enough pollution on the planet, do we really need to start polluting the heavens too?”

  19. ‘Without a hitch’ includes one of the reusable rockets crashing into the sea at 300mph rather than landing on a barge.

  20. Also, it’s not actually heading for Mars; it seems they got their sums wrong and it is heading towards nothing much in the Asteroid belt.

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy!

  21. Gareth

    How quickly we move from, “Wow, they landed and reused a rocket booster!” through, “Wow, they did it on a barge in the freaking ocean!” to, “Bah! The longest burning booster of thee failed to land on the barge. Who cares that the other two landed safely and almost simultaneously?”

  22. The value of having the first car in space? He could send up scrap, he could arrange with Ford to send one of their trucks – instead he sent a car that benefits his company.

    And the flat earth society gave him some free advertising as did Tim.

  23. The whole enterprise of getting a bloody big rocket of brand new design safely into space with an attention-getting payload and rather good PR, and getting two of the three boosters back down safely seems to me to close to bloody magic and a thing to be applauded as well as wondered at.

    Even if it really were all paid for by government subsidies, he’s doing it cheaper and quicker and better than the Official Government Rocketeers.

    So damned good show, Elon et al!

  24. I’ll forgive Musk all the faux-eco electric car crap for what he’s doing for access to space. The centre booster ran out of bang-you’re-lit juice (TEA-TEB) so only the centre engine of 3 required lit up. Redolent of them running out of hydraulic fluid to move the attitude control surfaces on a previous booster ‘abrupt unscheduled diassembly’.

  25. Gamecock, those cars still sell in the region of $50k. However car companies always have test examples which have been written off against tax and can’t be sold, and that’s probably what this is. The new roadster will reputedly cost $250k.

    My brother-in-law was offered a good job at Tesla but it costs too much to move to CA from the mid-west. Wonder how that sort of thing affects California growth. He could have got a quarter of his flyover house but to make up for it the price was four times as much.

  26. My new plan for life:

    1. I announce that I am building my own rocket, cheaper and better than Elon Musk’s.
    2. Elon Musk tells the press my rocket will never fly.
    3. I launch into space with my rocket, and overtake and match speed with Elon’s car.
    4. I put on my space suit, go out my rocket, and key that damn Tesla.

    Because that’s how petty I am.

  27. I was disappointed that the fuel cross feed idea could not be implemented. Anyone who has played with Kerala Space Program would recognise the extra efficiencies that arise when you can cross feed fuel from the external boosters to the central engine as well so you can use full “asparagus” staging. When your boosters have used their fuel they are released and the remaking core continues but is fully fuelled at that point, and you ahve used the engines on the core to contribute to the thrust.

    Note too that the Falcon heavy uses 9 Merlin engines for each booster and the core; a total of 27 engines. And the Merlin is a fairly simple and not particularly efficient engine, SpaceX uses it as that is all it has. So the rocket had a lot of redundant parts with each engine having it’s own turbo pump etc. They are developing a larger and more efficient design, but didn’t have the money to do that earlier. It will take time to develop the larger and more efficient engines, but when they do that will allow a bigger payload to orbit. Crossfeed would be even better, but the complexities seem to rule that out for now.

  28. Idiot can’t even get the cost straight. It cost $500 million to develop the first FH. $90 million is merely the price customers pay for a ride on a base model reusable FH.

    Customers will repay development costs, including the test flight, in ten launches at current prices. The market for super heavy launches per year was two with no super heavy launch capability available. Now that customers can actually pay a super heavy launch, we can expect more payloads to be built. Given that it typically takes two years to build large payloads, we can expect FH development costs to be recouped in 2020 or 2021.

    That billionaire should end up making a profit launching his Roadster into space.

  29. The Tesla going into space was immensely cheap; the rocket had to have something on it and a $50k 2nd hand car is bloody cheap advertising that goes straight at your target market who are tech savvy purchasers.

    How many desktop and phone backgrounds are now a picture of a Tesla with the backdrop of the earth below?

    How much do major car companies spend on scattergun advertising to smaller tv audiences?

    $50k for advertising on the 2nd most watched livestream in history is possibly the bargain of the century!

  30. People are interpreting this as an advert for Tesla, but I don’t think it is. Outside of geekdom, many more people know about Tesla than about SpaceX. I think this ‘stunt’ was about getting people interested in space again. And it worked.

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