back to article MY GOD, IT'S FULL OF CARS: SpaceX parks a Tesla in orbit (just don't mention the barge)

After years of setbacks, SpaceX today successfully launched its Falcon Heavy three-in-one rocket and delivered into orbit its cherry-red payload – Elon Musk's very own Tesla Roadster. After a morning of delays due to high winds, the mighty rocket lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39, in Florida, USA, at …

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  1. Spaller

    Don't Leave The Lights On!

    Stereo blaring is ok, but hopefully the headlights are turned off so as to not PO any astronomers.

    1. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Don't Leave The Lights On!

      It's a little too much Austin Powers for my taste, eccentric billionaire puts his own car into space with a 'dummy' at the wheel ... just as Ebay announces that they are going to stop using Paypal and are lining up Adyen.

      "So mister Pieter van der Does, you thought you could take business away from me, did you? Consider the futility of your actions as you slowly orbit the earth, until your oxygen runs out. Feel free to hit the horn as often as you like."

      1. William Towle
        Coat

        Re: Don't Leave The Lights On!

        > It's a little too much Austin Powers for my taste

        It even looks like a giant ... town hall and clock!

        // http://metro.co.uk/2018/02/06/race-organisers-made-bit-balls-dewsbury-10k-run-7289958/

    2. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
      Alert

      Great Headline, Register

      The fact that no one commented on it (or recognized it) makes me feel old.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Great Headline, Register

        I thought the headline was good, but too obvious to comment on. Doesn't particularly make me feel old ... I leave that to my grand daughter ;-)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Great Headline, Register

        I got the Headline but thought everyone would get it !!!

        Don't tell me that 'Star Bores' is the only classic SciFi Film the current generation now knows :(

        [Never could get the fervour for Star Wars as the original book was awful beyond measure ..... given to me, as I liked SciFi, by an old boss. I read it as a courtesy but found it to be more a hackneyed Space Opera than any great Drama/Adventure.]

        Downvotes are this way :)

        |

        |

        V

        1. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Re: Great Headline, Register

          Nah...no downvotes (I would hope) from those of us who appreciated 'Space Opera" as a sub-genre. I've enjoyed my share but the SW book was a bit... hmm.... bad even by space opera standards.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Great Headline, Register

            I was not knocking 'Space Opera' as a Genre as I did specify 'Hackneyed'.

            Isaac Asimov’s Foundation books, 'The Foundation Trilogy' of Seven Books!!!??? & Arthur C. Clarke's Odyssey Series are a perfect example of the Genre that is good !!!

            Virtually anything by Ben Bova is 'Space Opera' on a grand scale :) ;)

            Also Larry Niven's Ringworld Series.

            Should be enough there to keep you entertained for a few weeks !!!

            <Start major debate here about what books are or are not 'Space Opera'---> > :) :)

            1. Al Black
              Devil

              Re: Great Headline, Register

              Anything by Peter F Hamilton is worth a look if you enjoy Space Opera genre! Start with "The Reality Dysfunction".

        2. anothercynic Silver badge

          Re: Great Headline, Register

          Someone actually downvoted you. I can't believe there are 4 people who actually had a complete and utter humour failure to downvote you on this. Really. REALLY? What's wrong with you people! :-O

          That said... Damn nice job, Elon and your Musketeers. Well done. Does the Tesla have rockets behind the headlights like any good Bond vehicle? ;-)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Great Headline, Register

            Elon and his band of 'Rocketeers' gets a doff of the Cap and Hearty Congrats !!!

            So impressed with the Synchronised Landing .... looked Stunning even though as advised elsewhere they are just following an identical program to land the Boosters.

            Very Thunderbirds [Original Supermarionation Version] only could not see the strings <Grin>

            In terms of the Downvotes for daring to cast aspersions on 'Star Wars' .... totally expected hence the Arrow.

            My only response is Jar Jar Binks !!!

            Nuff Said. :)

          2. Al Black

            Re: Great Headline, Register

            I can't wait to see EFM's BGR!

      3. StargateSg7 Bronze badge

        Re: Great Headline, Register

        2001 A Space Odyssey is one the pinnacles of Space Opera and we have Stanley Kubrick to thank for that. The book by Arthur C. Clarke wasn't all that great but the movie sure was! But that headline most definitely restores some long lost memories of a simpler time and place within the hallowed halls of Science Fiction greats!

        Now I do wish Elon Musk and the Space-X cast and crew all the best in helping humanity get us off this rock! Go Boldly! Where Noone has gone before! And do remember......DON'T PANIC !!!!!!!!

        P.S. So long and thanks for all the fish!

        P.S.2. Have a Byte. 01010110 It's Good Fer Ya!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Great Headline, Register

          2001 is not Space Opera, even if it did have classical music!

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re: Great Headline, Register

            Will he stop to pick up hitch-hikers?

            1. dotdavid

              Re: Great Headline, Register

              > Will he stop to pick up hitch-hikers?

              Well the hyperspace bypass is still not even under construction AFAIK so there might not be many to pick up yet.

              1. Nila

                Re: Great Headline, Register

                You do know the bypass plans are on display for 45 years now in Alpha Centauri?

            2. ravenviz Silver badge
              Devil

              Re: Great Headline, Register

              Will he stop to pick up hitch-hikers?

              The only time that car is stopping is when it hits something.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Great Headline, Register

            Big John,

            Correct by the original definition but it has evolved a little over time as authors expanded the 'Pot' to choose from :)

            Hence my comment re: Debating what is or is not 'Space Opera'

            From the Wikipedia entry for 'Space Opera':

            Notable space opera novels include the Foundation series (1942–1999) by Isaac Asimov, the Lensman series (1948–1954) by E. E. Smith and the Ender's Game series (1985–present) by Orson Scott Card. An early notable space opera film was Flash Gordon (1936) created by Alex Raymond. In the late 1970s, the Star Wars franchise (1977–present) created by George Lucas brought a great deal of attention to the subgenre.

            I tend to agree with the definition as above but concede that there is lots of room for debate :)

            Space Opera is not by definition 'Bad' but many authors have written 'Epics' in the style of and tended towards more 'Flash Gordon (1936)' rather than something like the Foundation Series IMHO.

            I Do like a GOOD Space Opera as it can provide an 'awful' (Ba Dum Tish) lot of entertainment ..... I am from a generation that read books and did not speed read everything (although I do read quickly and can finish a typical paperback in 1 day).

            1. Mage Silver badge

              Re: Notable space opera novels include

              Wikipedia is wrong. The original Foundation series* (originally magazine episodes) is not much like Space Opera. EE "Doc" Smith was (First novel about 1928 and he more or less invented the genre), Flash Gordon too.

              I agree Space Opera can be good or bad. Star Wars original trilogy is a mix of Space Opera and Fantasy. He basically killed the fantasy later with stupid SF "explanations".

              [* IMO the later written Foundation books and all Asimov after 1979 is much inferior. I think between 1957 & 1979 he didn't write SF?]

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Notable space opera novels include

                Mage,

                I did mention that this was subject to great debate !!! ;)

                I can see your point and do not call things 'Space Opera' as a denigration.

                I have read all the well known output of Asimov, Clarke and many many others enjoying them all .... overall. Some were better than others BUT that was/is to be expected.

                Of course as they & their readers got older and reality caught up with some of the ideas they may be seen as less impressive.

                Personally, I read all things with a view to the worldview and knowledge that was contemporaneous with the writing/publication of the Story.

                It is part of the enjoyment for me to understand what was known at the time things were written and appreciate the flight of fancy or extrapolation of facts that the author(s) took.

                Try it with something like H G Wells Classics and appreciate how far he projected ideas/accepted knowledge of the time and reflected the concerns of the then world. It can give a whole new set of nuances to your understanding/appreciation of his Stories.

                Ditto with most of the Classic SciFi IMHO.

                P.S. Still think the Headline is a Blinding Classic and should win a prize or Something, absolutely Love it !!!

            2. Alistair Silver badge
              Windows

              Re: Great Headline, Register

              Hence my comment re: Debating what is or is not 'Space Opera'

              From the Wikipedia entry for 'Space Opera':

              Well, as usual wp is missing the *ULTIMATE* space opera movie.

              Its just a jump to the left.

              1. jake Silver badge

                Re: Great Headline, Register

                ... and a step to the ri-i-i-ight!

                I wouldn't call it a Space Opera. More a homage to B movie horror.

                One of the most entertaining films ever made, IMO.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Great Headline, Register

          >2001 A Space Odyssey is one the pinnacles of Space Opera and we have Stanley Kubrick to thank for that. The book by Arthur C. Clarke wasn't all that great but the movie sure was!

          I thought the book was better than the film but it's almost always the case as in literature you can be more expansive and so much gets missed out when moving to celluloid*.

          *Note to younger readers, celluloid is what they used to use to make movies and books were a collection of paper pages with typed words.

          >DON'T PANIC !!!!!!!!

          The Brain the size of a planet.......and they ask me to park cars.

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: Great Headline, Register

            "The book by Arthur C. Clarke wasn't all that great but the movie sure was!"

            You guys _do_ realise that the book and the film were written at the same time don't you? (Clark and Kubrick collaborated fully on both)

            It was one of the earliest examples of a book spinning off as part of a movie project (as was the Star Wars book), Clarke write quite a bit about the creation of both (and the visual gags in 2001 that few people spotted, such as the PanAm shuttle toilet)

            Agree on the headline. Well played.

            1. Alistair Silver badge

              Re: Great Headline, Register

              @Alan Brown:

              Sadly -- Most of the visual gags in 2001 were hard for most to see even in the '70s. Most seeing that now wouldn't notice a single one. But, if you do watch it, you realize that Kubrick deserves credit on a few Apple patents.

              1. B Bunter

                Re: Great Headline, Register

                Of course the most obvious gag was HAL, being one letter shifted from IBM. I am sure everyone here is aware of this but I thought that since we were talking about the easily recognizable headline, I would mention it anyway.

                1. Mage Silver badge

                  Re: obvious gag was HAL

                  Maybe? A C C himself said that was an accident, not deliberate.

            2. Grinning Bandicoot

              Re: Great Headline, Register

              If memory serves correctly since its in the vicinity of 60 years but Clark wrote a short story "Monument" that served as the framework for the opener and there was another short story that had served for beginning of the main story.

              Will Jenkins (Mauray Leinster) held the patent of the system used for those great space shots.

          2. tfb Silver badge

            Re: Great Headline, Register

            Wasn't the book written essentially *after* the film? I forget the timeline now, but I remember there was a short story first, and then perhaps the film and then the book? Somewhere (or, more likely, long lost) I have a book which has a description by Clarke of how it all happened.

            1. FrogsAndChips Bronze badge

              Re: Great Headline, Register

              The short story was called The Sentinel, and told essentially of the discovery of an alien monolith on the Moon. Then Clarke and Kubrick expanded on it (first monolith on Earth, trip to Jupiter...), giving birth to the full-length novel 2001 and the Kubrick movie.

              1. Pat Harkin

                Re: Great Headline, Register

                I once asked Clarke how come the film monolith was black whereas the story monolith was transparent "We tried a clear one but it looked terrible - couldn't get it optically perfect enough." Didn't ask why the shift from tetrahedron to cuboid though!

            2. Patrician

              Re: Great Headline, Register

              The original short story was The Sentinel and this was suggested as a start by Clark when Kubrik came to him with the idea of "a good science fiction film". Development of the book and film carried on, pretty much, side by side.

              This is documented in the book The Lost Worlds of 2001.

            3. davcefai

              Re: Great Headline, Register

              The short story was first. The book you describe is "The Lost Worlds of 2001". As far as I remember the screenplay and book were written together. Certainly the film is very faithful to the book.

            4. Grinning Bandicoot

              Re: Great Headline, Register

              Noted elsewhere but one short was Monument. I believe there was a second that covered later in the story. One thing about Clark that he is credited for the geostationary comsat and for using the moon as a tax haven

            5. Marshalltown

              Re: Great Headline, Register

              The original story was "The Sentinel" and ends with the narrator wondering if the "builders" might not have become cranky in their old age, jealous of younger races. The movie begins with that and then builds on a "singularity" like concept of "evolution." (Evolution really has no direction its headed in so YMMV.) Some of the movie has concepts that probably really hark from Childhood's End. There was no original book as such, just a novelized version of the movie.

              1. Lotaresco Silver badge

                Re: Great Headline, Register

                "Some of the movie has concepts that probably really hark from Childhood's End."

                And even earlier short stories. Clarke returned to the idea that other intelligent life had an interest in Earth over and over again.

                I'm currently working my way through The Collected Stories Of Arthur C. Clarke (GOLLANCZ S.F.) on Kindle and the theme is there in several of the stories. I've got as far as The Sentinel, and the stories are in chronological order so his fascination with the idea pre-dates The Sentinel.

        3. ravenviz Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Great Headline, Register

          The book by Arthur C. Clarke wasn't all that great

          I loved it, read it three times during my teenage years.

        4. Mage Silver badge

          Re: 2001 A Space Odyssey is one the pinnacles of Space Opera

          It's not space opera.

          It's visually stunning with good soundtrack. However about 1/2 of it is very boring for many people. Forbidden Planet is less physically accurate, but more compelling story.

          Interesting how many parts of FP seem to turn up in ST-TOS and other later films and series.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: 2001 A Space Odyssey is one the pinnacles of Space Opera

            "Forbidden Planet is less physically accurate, but more compelling story."

            Yeah but they knicked the story from Shakespeare, so it was already a given that the story and plot could stand the test of time.

          2. Lotaresco Silver badge

            Re: 2001 A Space Odyssey is one the pinnacles of Space Opera

            "However about 1/2 of it is very boring for many people."

            Many people or "mundanes" as they are better known. The one's whose imaginations don't stretch much further than those of the first scenes shown in 2001. Just keep banging the rocks together, guys.

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Great Headline, Register

          "2001 A Space Odyssey is one the pinnacles of Space Opera and we have Stanley Kubrick to thank for that."

          Pretty sure "my god, it's full of stars" doesn't actually feature in the film though, just the book, and as the intro to 2010 (the film)...

          1. Alistair Silver badge

            Re: Great Headline, Register

            "Pretty sure "my god, it's full of stars" doesn't actually feature in the film"

            I have copies of both. It features in both.

      4. John 61
        Facepalm

        Re: Great Headline, Register

        I thought this was a story about the A6....

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Great Headline, Register

          >I thought this was a story about the A6....

          A fellow A6 sufferer, have an upvote in empathy.

  2. Crisp Silver badge

    Get your cars to Mars

    Is this going to be the very first Johnny Cab?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Get your cars to Mars

      'cept that the Johnny Cabs were on Earth in 'Running Man'

      1. Lotaresco Silver badge

        Re: Get your cars to Mars

        "The Johnny Cabs were on Earth in 'Running Man'"

        Total Recall

  3. JDX Gold badge

    That simultaneous landing

    Epic show-boating.

    1. Swiss Anton

      Re: That simultaneous landing

      So what happened? No idea if the booster that was furthest from the booster landing cam actually landed. The video feed cut before they landed, and the booster that was furthest from the cam looked to be less than vertical <1 sec before landing. Did the centre stage land on the barge? I'm not saying this wasn't awesome, because it was, but could SpaceX give a bit more transparency, please? Even if only one of the three 1st stages landed, I for one would class that as a success.

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