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Old 12-02-2017, 08:38 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Elon Musk Sending His Car to Mars

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Musk tweeted Friday night that the Falcon Heavy’s first test flight, scheduled to blast off from Florida’s Space Coast next month, will have his midnight cherry Tesla Roadster on-board. The Falcon Heavy’s “payload will be my midnight cherry Tesla Roadster playing Space Oddity,” Musk tweeted. “Destination is Mars orbit.”
Since this is a test flight, they didn't want to put a real payload, which can run many millions of dollars, on it, but they did want something to test payload deployment.

Article on Spaceflight Now


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Old 12-02-2017, 08:49 AM   #2 (permalink)
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All I can think of is The Martian a few years later. Instead of digging up a Rover he digs up a Tesla and just starts cruising around the surface in it.
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Old 12-02-2017, 04:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Elon Musk told us he was sending a car to space, then said he totally made it up

My version of this story: Elon Musk has too much money.
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Old 12-02-2017, 04:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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My version of this story: Elon Musk has too much money.
My first thought is that it was frivolous. If he just wants to deposit some mass in Mars orbit, as a test, it would be more sensible and sensitive to send some inexpensive piece of scrap.

My second thought is that I really want to see a picture of a car in Mars orbit.
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Old 12-02-2017, 06:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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My second thought is that I really want to see a picture of a car in Mars orbit.



Photoshop is a hell of a thing.
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Old 12-02-2017, 06:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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You'd think he'd be enough of a geek to at least send a DeLorean.

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Old 12-02-2017, 07:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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My first thought is that it was frivolous. If he just wants to deposit some mass in Mars orbit, as a test, it would be more sensible and sensitive to send some inexpensive piece of scrap.
Elon's personal Roadster is one of the first cars Tesla ever made, and is 10 years old now. They're going to be building a second generation Roadster whose performance will blow away the original, so the one they are launching *is* an inexpensive piece of scrap. Besides, he needs the room in his garage.
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Old 12-20-2017, 02:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The business end of the Falcon Heavy rocket that is supposed to send a Tesla Roadster to Mars, or the Atlantic Ocean. This is in the assembly building next to the launch pad.



In related space news, the world's largest airplane, Stratolaunch, is starting taxi tests, which is what comes before first flight. The aerial view doesn't really give the scale. The 6 engines came from two used 747's, and this plane will carry up to 250 ton rockets to altitude before lighting them up.


Ground level view:

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Old 12-20-2017, 02:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I will never fly in a plane again. That is just way too big for me.

Four sets of landing gear on the front end alone. *shudders* And that is only on one fuselage. Stratolaunch has two. Why that scares the shit out of me I have no idea. I just know it does right now. I kind of doubt I would ever be comfortable with the idea of flying in something that large. Heck I won't even entertain the idea of getting on one of those gigantic cruise ships!

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Old 12-20-2017, 04:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Not entirely related, but piggybacking on your thread nonetheless because the article on transit was interesting....


What Elon Musk Doesn't Get About Urban Transit - City Lab
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Old 12-20-2017, 06:11 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Free Xue View Post
Elon Musk told us he was sending a car to space, then said he totally made it up

My version of this story: Elon Musk has too much money.
"Have I reminded you yet today how rich I am? Because I'm completely loaded. I'm so rich, I think I'll send my actual car to Mars, just because I can. LOL just kidding! About doing it I mean - not about being rich enough to do it just because I can. Because I am, just in case you've forgotten. Enjoy your ramen noodles, or whatever it is you 'eat'."
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Old 12-20-2017, 07:15 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Old 12-21-2017, 06:54 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Kerbals already did it.

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Old 12-22-2017, 08:30 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I will never fly in a plane again. That is just way too big for me.

You don't have to worry about this particular plane, it won't ever be carrying passengers. It doesn't even have a passenger compartment, just a cockpit for the crew.

Meanwhile, for anyone who thinks Musk was kidding about launching his car, here it is on the "payload adapter" - the cone at the top of a rocket where the satellite payload is usually mounted:

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Old 12-22-2017, 03:18 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Elon Musk shows off the Tesla Roadster that SpaceX will send beyond Mars
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Weeks after announcing that he plans to send an original Tesla Roadster to space atop a Falcon Heavy rocket, Elon Musk has released photos of the car being prepped for launch at SpaceX headquarters. The series of photos, posted to Instagram, show the Roadster attached to a fitting and placed between the two halves of the payload fairing that caps the rocket. The photos were posted just hours after a picture leaked on Reddit that showed a grainy view of the car being readied for its final ride.


https://www.instagram.com/p/BdA94kVg...en-by=elonmusk
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Old 12-23-2017, 05:09 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I'm kind of disturbed by the idea that the first test flight for the Falcon heavy will be an Earth-escape mission. On top of that the idea that they're really delivering the payload to actual Mars orbit is simply not credible: that has to be hyperbole. That would be a multi-year mission that requires real-time telemetry and regular course corrections and, well, a payload capable of handling orbital insertion. Pretty sure a Tesla doesn't have that capability.

Edit: So apparently he's actually sending it into a solar orbit that crosses the orbits of Earth and Mars. Calling that "Mars Orbit" is ... no, just no.
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Old 12-23-2017, 01:36 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I'm kind of disturbed by the idea that the first test flight for the Falcon heavy will be an Earth-escape mission. On top of that the idea that they're really delivering the payload to actual Mars orbit is simply not credible: that has to be hyperbole. That would be a multi-year mission that requires real-time telemetry and regular course corrections and, well, a payload capable of handling orbital insertion. Pretty sure a Tesla doesn't have that capability.

Edit: So apparently he's actually sending it into a solar orbit that crosses the orbits of Earth and Mars. Calling that "Mars Orbit" is ... no, just no.
This is a very large rocket, 2/3 of the thrust of the Saturn V from the Apollo days. Unless you load it down with a very heavy payload, Earth escape is where it is going to end up, simply because that is how much fuel and thrust it has.

By "Mars Orbit" Musk actually means "Mars' Orbit" (i.e. around the Sun). The apostrophe makes all the difference. I assume what he means by that is a trajectory in the general direction of Mars, that will cross Mars' orbit at some point. That will just prove the rocket can send a useful interplanetary payload on it's way.

No, of course a 10 year old Tesla Roadster isn't going to be a useful payload of any kind. If nothing else, the battery and electronics probably won't function in space after a few hours, because they don't have proper thermal control. They will be at Florida air temperature to start with, and thermal mass will keep them in operating range for a while, but they will eventually get too hot or too cold.

That's why most satellites have gold or silver foil wrapped around them, like these Iridium-Next satellites that SpaceX just launched yesterday from California. It is a multi-layer insulation blanket.




By the way, some commenters have suggested launching cows as a "live test" of the Falcon Heavy. You need about a dozen to get enough payload weight for this big a rocket. If the rocket fails, you get free barbecue. If it succeeds, they become the herd shot 'round the world.
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Old 12-23-2017, 05:14 PM   #18 (permalink)
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By "Mars Orbit" Musk actually means "Mars' Orbit" (i.e. around the Sun).
Unless it does a circularization burn it's not going to be in any planet's orbit, it's going to be an elliptical orbit with perihelion at 93 million miles. And given the launch trajectory, the aphelion isn't going to even be in the plane of the ecliptic.
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Old 12-28-2017, 01:54 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Falcon Heavy being raised on Pad 39A. Next comes static test (light the engines for a few seconds), then launch (or boom).
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Old 01-02-2018, 07:30 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Old 02-06-2018, 04:24 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Live Stream of Roadster & Starman in orbit


The second stage is doing a 6 hour coast to prove to the Air Force they can deliver payloads to synchronous orbit. Then it will burn a final time to inject the car to a Mars transfer orbit. The spacesuit is the same kind they have developed to carry astronauts on the Dragon capsule. Yes, this is a reference to the Heavy Metal movie. The car's dash display reads "Don't Panic", and there is a towel and a copy of the Hitchhiker's Guide in the glove box. Total nerds working there.

The live stream will end eventually, so here's a photo:
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Old 02-06-2018, 04:31 PM   #22 (permalink)
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It looks like the central core has been lost. This is still an incredible achievement though.
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Old 02-06-2018, 04:49 PM   #23 (permalink)
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"Ha, I was only joking about only joking - there it goes! You couldn't afford one of these while it was on Earth, so enjoy looking at it in orbit, now also physically as well as financially out of your reach forever. Do remember that I on the other hand could afford to buy one and launch it into space. Cheery-O! God I'm rich."
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Old 02-06-2018, 06:20 PM   #24 (permalink)
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It looks like the central core has been lost. This is still an incredible achievement though.
They did get close enough to the barge for smoke to appear on the camera before it went offline. Assuming the car gets in the right orbit, I'd call this a 90% success for a test flight, which is pretty good.

Meanwhile, Flat Earther remains Earthbound
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Old 02-06-2018, 06:34 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Man, all this depressing bull shit political news, as dumb as this is sending a car to Mars, it makes me really happy.
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