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 …

  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. Big John Silver badge

          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.

      1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

        Re: That simultaneous landing

        The two boosters landed. Enough people watching to say if one did topple. But as always, with any "flight", actual accidents are first confirmed, and safety followed. Thus the centre stage is assumed "gone" for us public. We will wait to find out if the barge is still there or in another wording "everywhere" now.

    2. handleoclast Silver badge

      Re: That simultaneous landing

      Epic show-boating.

      That was my first thought when I saw the video. About 2 seconds later I realized that it was no such thing.

      They were identical booster stages. Filled with identical amounts of fuel and oxidizer. Burning propellant at identical rates. Which separated at the same time. Which had to fall through the same atmosphere and execute the identical landing manoeuvres to land at nearly the same place (not enough fuel for them to travel far away from each other).

      It would have been harder to make them not land simultaneously.

      Still looked pretty damned cool. But it wasn't show-boating.

      1. Sean o' bhaile na gleann

        Re: That simultaneous landing

        @handleoclast "...Still looked pretty damned cool. But it wasn't show-boating...."

        You're absolutely right, of course. But I defy anyone with a spark of imagination not to have felt a huge 'Wow' on seeing it.

        For myself - I cheered. And my second thought was "New Olympic Event! Synchronised Rocket Landing!"

      2. littlesmith

        Re: That simultaneous landing

        Basically the boosters did not land simultaneously. There was a slight delay between the touch downs purposely created, because otherwise the landing radars of the rockets would have disturbed each other.

      3. B Bunter

        Re: That simultaneous landing

        They actually worked on making sure that the boosters did not land simultaneously. This was done to ensure that the radar signatures of the boosters did not interfere with one another.

    3. druck
      Thumb Up

      Re: That simultaneous landing

      It was a pure Thunderbirds moment.

      1. A K Stiles
        Pint

        Re: That simultaneous landing

        Watched the live stream with a giant idiot-grin on my face!

        Noticed that the 2 booster feeds were actually from the same booster - you can see as the approach the ground that both views are heading for the same pad and you can see the flame from the other booster in the top edge of the view, but they both landed almost simultaneously and I was very impressed.

        Slightly disappointed for SpaceX that the centre core failed its landing - hopefully the boat fix isn't too expensive (certainly cheaper than replacing 3 F9 stage 1s!). It certainly doesn't look like any shade of failure from my point of view. Round of applause and a round of beers for everyone involved!

        1. Alistair Silver badge
          Windows

          Re: That simultaneous landing

          @AKStiles:

          I spotted that too, (the two pads, earlier in the feed, had two different logos). I suspect that *right* after the separation the port booster camera got thwacked by one off the connector components as it fell away.

          I co-opted the 65" plasma in the living room to watch this. My kid and my wife seem to think there might be something wrong with me for cheering like an idiot at rockets and ignoring the HungerGameurrSaladBowlSuper Bubble.

          The shot of the boosters landing. *Dear GOD* that was stunning.

          1. stucs201

            Re: duplicate booster video

            I think this was a simple mistake on what camera feeds they showed live. They've since posted an updated video with the correct feed from the second booster.

  4. Alan J. Wylie Silver badge

    So, Bertrand Russell. Never mind a teapot, it's a red electric car orbiting the Sun somewhere in space between the Earth and Mars.

    1. d3vy Silver badge

      I hope musk put a teapot in the boot and never tells anyone.. jUst keeps it to himself so he will always know.

      1. Big John Silver badge

        > "I hope musk put a teapot in the boot and never tells anyone.. just keeps it to himself so he will always know."

        And if Musk should die? Then no one will ever be sure if that teapot is there or not, or... both.

        Besides, someday someone WILL claim to have put one in there, that much we can be sure of. So basically the teapot problem hasn't changed, it's just moved inside that boot.

        1. Mark 85 Silver badge

          And if Musk should die? Then no one will ever be sure if that teapot is there or not, or... both.

          So it's Schrodinger's Cat and Musk's Teapot?

          1. Big John Silver badge

            Precisely!

            I mean... maybe?

    2. onefang Silver badge

      "So, Bertrand Russell. Never mind a teapot, it's a red electric car orbiting the Sun somewhere in space between the Earth and Mars."

      I'm sure that person in the space suit is on the lookout for the teapot, and will grab it to hook up to the infinite improbability drive in the Tesla. If we suddenly lose contact with it, we'll know. Might be why the video feed from the sea platform landing cut out early, whale landed on it.

    3. 45RPM Silver badge

      Given the latest reports that Tesla build quality is on a par with 1990s Kia (https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.carthrottle.com/post/amp/tesla-model-3-built-like-a-1990s-kia-says-engineering-firm/), I suspect that this is the only way that Elon Musk could think of to best Volvo in the longevity (age and mileage) stakes.

  5. James 47

    The excessive cheering was a bit much

    1. Martin Budden
      WTF?

      Exactly how much cheering would you allow?

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        A big less, I presume.

        I'll tone it down next time, I promise.

    2. Mike Richards Silver badge

      If it was a British rocket we might allow a few modest 'Hurrahs' and perhaps the gentle waving of small flags.

      1. Paul Woodhouse

        flags and Hurrahs?... no need for them, maybe a genuine "Nice" instead of a sarcastic comment about it probably blowing up for some reason.

      2. ZanzibarRastapopulous Silver badge

        > "..a few modest 'Hurrahs' and perhaps the gentle waving of small flags."

        This American exuberance seems to be gradually creeping into British society, surely it's more a polite applause moment?

        1. A K Stiles
          Coat

          I believe the accepted style is "Golf-clap" and maybe an "Oh, I say, jolly good show chaps!" ?

      3. Peter Storm

        "If it was a British rocket we might allow a few modest 'Hurrahs' and perhaps the gentle waving of small flags."

        I think we might have run to a "splendid!" as well under the circumstances.

    3. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      If you think that's bad, go back and watch the video of their first successful landing...

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        At least this time round they didn't start chanting "USA USA"

        SpaceX may be an american company but the staff are from all over the place.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Start firing their flamethrowers into the air as a salute?

    4. 68K

      Excessive cheering

      If I were one of the 6000 people that worked on it, I'd be cheering too.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Excessive cheering

        Have the crowd say 'Wop' instead?

      2. SAdams

        Re: Excessive cheering

        “If I were one of the 6000 people that worked on it, I'd be cheering too.”

        Even as someone not working on it, I had a brief, internal and silent ‘British” cheer moment. A South African billionaire with US enthusiasm sending a car playing Bowie towards mars. IT billionaires do seem to have a more generous and optimistic view of what can be achieved with their money than most.

  6. Jellied Eel Silver badge

    Awesome!

    Watching the synchronised side booster landing. The central? Well, 2 out of 3 ain't bad I guess. And I suspect the image of 'star man' driving to Mars will become an iconic advertising image, as well as demonstrating the fun you can have if you're freed from bureaucracy.

    1. Sanctimonious Prick

      Re: Awesome!

      Agree! It was awesome to watch the live feed!

      I had goosebumps and hair raised on my arms and legs, fingers crossed 30 seconds before launch!

      Then watching those two rockets land simultaneously, side by side made my jaw whack the ground! Bloody awesome!

      As Meatloaf cries, “two out of three ain’t bad.”

      :D

      1. madmalc

        Re: Awesome!

        I'm glad I wasn't the only one :-)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Academics

    A terrific achievement, sullied by the grauitous space junk.

    1. Martin Budden

      Re: Academics

      He's running a business. Marketing is required.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Academics

        He's running a business. Marketing is required.

        And he couldn't even give the launch opportunity away to anyone...

        But wait a minute. This is not entirely surprising. A worthwhile payload big enough to warrant such a launch would itself be massively expensive. And if anyone had built such a payload, they'd have been putting all their money into that first launch being successful. On the face of it, a difficult proposition for almost anyone who is spending other people's money building payloads.

        Now that they've got that first launch out of the way with 100% success (a payload owner wouldn't give a damn about the post-boost loss of one of the cores), there will now be satellite operators out there seriously contemplating what opportunities such a launch capability offers. They're going to need wild imaginations to get a payload up to that kind of size. Even if they don't come up with anything, SpaceX can launch two really big geo sats at once (compared to, say, Ariane 5 ECA's one).

        Interestingly, Ariane 5 ECA makes do with one liquid fuelled engine and a couple of solid boosters for the first stage, and can lift 11 tons to GTO. To beat that by more than 100%, SpaceX have used 27 engines and no solid boosters. Goes to show just how hard it is to scale up a rocket.

        Anyway, whilst that was deeply impressive, it's not a patch on how NASA's SLS is going to be. Now that really, truly is a biiiiiiig rocket.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Academics

          Scaling rockets? The SLS?

          If the SLS does actually fly and work properly as I expect it will, it will indeed be amazing, but given the price advantage SpaceX has just shown it's got over the competition, it's not certain the SLS will ever go into serious service.

          But that doesn't really matter.

          The fabulous thing SpaceX just did was launch a hugely heavy lift capacity, massively multi-engined rocket, and done it fully successfully, on the first attempt, and then recovered two out of three sections of the first stage! That is, like, totally amazing, man. I for one am completely blown away - that simultaneous landing of the first stage boosters? Oh wow! The future is here, man, it's here! Sod yer flying cars!

          I recall that Jim Steinman, using the voice of Meat Loaf, explained that two out of three ain't bad a very long time ago.

          <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ml5xb4DrhZo>

          As for scaling rockets - well, there's a lot of ways of making heavy lift space launchers. The Saturn V did it with five engines in the first stage. Getting the F1 engines to run without exploding took a lot of work. The Space Shuttle used three hydrogen/oxygen engines plus two solid fuel boosters - the liquid fuelled main engines were heavily informed by the Saturn V experience. It's hard to get really big rocket engines working well.

          Ariane 5 ECA uses one liquid fuelled and two solid fuelled boosters and don't ask me how the ESA managed to get that big main engine working properly but they did - probably using a lot of computer modelling beyond what was possible/practical back when they were developing the big F1 engines for the Saturn V. The Soviets tried the N1 with 30 engines in the first stage but never got it working properly. One problem they had was that if one engine blew up, it made a mess of its surroundings. I gather that SpaceX's designs have robust screening between engines to mitigate such problems.

          Basic rocket science isn't that tricky - Newton had it sussed back in the 1600s. But engineering big rockets to work reliably is hard. Making them cheap is even harder. Great day, just a great day!

          P.S. That "dummy" in the car. Is Elon worried about competition from other upstart space firms? Blue Origin springs to mind. Has anyone heard from Jeff Bezos lately? ;-)

          1. onefang Silver badge

            Re: Academics

            "Sod yer flying cars!"

            I think you'll find there is now a car flying to Mars.

            1. TRT Silver badge

              Re: Academics

              Surf board on the back.

              Benson Arizona as track 2 on the CD player 8-track.

              1. Symon Silver badge
                Coat

                Re: Academics

                Let's have some music in here, Boiler.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Academics

                  Ah. Benson Arizona.

                  There aren't that many Country and Western songs about relativistic ageing...

                  1. ravenviz Silver badge

                    Re: Academics

                    Ah. Benson Arizona

                    Ah, I was just just thinking about the end of Dark Star and surfing in space when I saw your post!

                  2. Gary Lloyd 1
                    Thumb Up

                    Re: Academics

                    If were going down the relativistic aging song route then may i proffer "39" by Queen. Fantastic little tune.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Academics

          Evidently a bunch of Canadian beat Space-X to the punch on building a truly large rocket system:

          Canadian Ultra Heavy Lift Rocket (800,000 Lbs or 362,000 Kg lift capacity) PDF file:

          https://www.pdf-archive.com/2016/02/03/the-galaxy-class-ultra-heavy-lift-vehicle/

          However, whether it has been tested fully yet is a whole 'nother story!

          Me thinks its presentation document for internal use by the company that is building this.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Academics

      All orbital tests require simulated mass, normally they just put a metal block up.

      1. eldakka Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: Academics

        > All orbital tests require simulated mass,

        What? Since when have we been able to simulate mass?

        I know the discovery of the Higgs Boson may lead to exciting advances in the future, but they've already made mass simulators from it?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Academics

          What? Since when have we been able to simulate mass?

          Er, if you design a rocket to lift 26 tons then you pretty much have to put 26 tons on the top to make the thing fly as intended. If the payload you're launching doesn't actually weight that much, you have to make up the difference with ballast.

          This is actually a real bonus for "amateur" satellite builders. Because no payload ever gets built to weigh the exact amount the rocket can lift, there's always some ballast. The launch companies realised that instead of launching useless ballast they might just as well give away payload opportunities to people wanting to put up microsats. It can cost as little as £50,000 to launch something, well within the budget of a University department.

          1. danR2

            Re: Academics

            Yes, but I wouldn't ask clients to contract to something so iffy. I'd have gathered student projects, good, bad or indifferent, and offer no guarantees, beyond minimal telemetry where needed for a project: say a cam and mic for each.

            The car gives nobody anything by way of science or inspiration.

            1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

              Re: Academics

              The car can be balanced perfectly and have, as said, zero paperwork. Other riders would add risk if not of the expensive type, and expense if not of the risky type.

            2. kschrock

              Re: Academics

              Really? If you actually believe that this event did not inspired people, you are detached from reality.

            3. Mark 85 Silver badge

              Re: Academics

              The car gives nobody anything by way of science or inspiration.

              So how much is a good chuckle worth? In today's world, I think it's priceless. Not everything needs to be "science" or "inspirational" IMHO.

              1. d3vy Silver badge

                Re: Academics

                "The car gives nobody anything by way of science or inspiration."

                I dunno, *Tesla first car in space* has just been on the news world wide.. and will be in papers for the next few days. I wonder what that would have cost in advertising.

                1. jake Silver badge

                  Re: Academics

                  The first car in space was actually driven by a human being. On the moon.

                  1. 68K

                    Re: Academics

                    That wasn't in space. That was on the moon.

                    1. JimC Silver badge

                      Re:That wasn't in space. That was on the moon.

                      I do believe it may have traversed space on the way to the moon...

                  2. d3vy Silver badge

                    Re: Academics

                    "The first car in space was actually driven by a human being. On the moon"

                    Ok... this is the first car which a normal person could use to nip down to the shops.

                    I suspect that you knew the intention behind the comment and just wanted to win a pedant of the day award? :)

                    1. jake Silver badge

                      Re: Academics

                      You, or any other "normal person" (whatever that means!), could easily "nip off down to the shops" in a bog-stock, as shipped to the moon, Lunar Rover. If you had one in your garage, of course.

                      https://youtu.be/FnyQ4-xyrUI?t=216

                      1. d3vy Silver badge

                        Re: Academics

                        "You, or any other "normal person" (whatever that means!), could easily "nip off down to the shops" in a bog-stock, as shipped to the moon, Lunar Rover. If you had one in your garage, of course."

                        FFS, getting stupid now.

                        Seeing as you cannot infer the meantime of normal in my sentence I don't hold out much hope for you being able to figure out the difference between a mass market vehicle and a fucking moon buggy.

              2. Michael Kean

                Re: Academics

                Nor do fireworks, but we have them every year :)

            4. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: Academics

              offer no guarantees, beyond minimal telemetry where needed for a project: say a cam and mic for each.

              And a promise to say nice things if it blows up?

              Science got a free ride on the first Ariane 5 - it cost them $400M and years of work

            5. madmalc

              Re: Academics

              Sir, I do believe you need more beer

            6. Mark Dempster

              Re: Academics

              >The car gives nobody anything by way of science or inspiration.<

              No, but it's pure PR - and good PR, too. If SpaceX had just lifted a block of concrete to orbit then the launch might have been given a few seconds of coverage on the news because it's a new rocket. But because of the car & everything else associate with it ('Life On Mars' on the stereo, HHGTTG & a towel in the glovebox, etc) everyone's talking about it - even those with absolutely no interest in space technology

          2. eldakka Silver badge

            Re: Academics

            > Er, if you design a rocket to lift 26 tons then you pretty much have to put 26 tons on the top to make the thing fly as intended. If the payload you're launching doesn't actually weight that much, you have to make up the difference with ballast.

            Right, that is actual mass, not simulated mass.

            1. TRT Silver badge

              Re: Academics

              Simulated payload.

    3. Fibbles

      Re: Academics

      You call it junk but I, for one, find it comforting to think that when all life is gone from this planet and the Sun swells to such an extent that it consumes the Earth; there will still be a Spaceman chilling out there in his car with the top down, Bowie in the tape deck and emblazoned across the dashboard (in big friendly letters,) the words "DON'T PANIC!".

  8. Kit-Fox

    You all Astronauts on some kind of Star Trek?

    I guess Elon Musk is a huge fan of Star Trek Voyager then? Episode 1 from season 2 - The 37's

    Where a rusty old pickup truck from the 30's is found floating around the delta quadrant

    At least this is a more environmentally friendly Tesla electric car heh

    1. Sandtitz Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: You all Astronauts on some kind of Star Trek?

      I was thinking more of the ZZ Top video...

    2. Down not across

      Re: You all Astronauts on some kind of Star Trek?

      I still think its a rip off of Heavy Metal even if the car is not likely to land anywhere. Oh, and I'm glad its a Tesla rather than classic Corvette.

      1. Big John Silver badge

        Re: You all Astronauts on some kind of Star Trek?

        That video is a cheap animation. This is the real thing. Hardly a rip off.

    3. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: You all Astronauts on some kind of Star Trek?

      @Kit-Fox

      +1 beat me to it.

      That was my thought yesterday when I heard he was putting an auto into space. Nothing original here...

    4. WallMeerkat Bronze badge

      Re: You all Astronauts on some kind of Star Trek?

      Looking forward to our AI overlords trying to find their creator built around the central core now known as T'sla

    5. annodomini2 Bronze badge

      Re: You all Astronauts on some kind of Star Trek?

      Thing is after 300 years, the pickup truck would be mostly intact. The Tesla less so.

      1. annodomini2 Bronze badge

        Re: You all Astronauts on some kind of Star Trek?

        More to do with what it is made of rather than quality.

        Carbon fibre + fibreglass and plastics will break down in the solar radiation over that amount of time.

        The truck is mostly steel.

  9. Scott 26

    This Kiwi enjoyed the American accents pronouncing "Falcon Heavy"

  10. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Alert

    Hey Mac, you can't park that there!

    "Any aliens who encounter it along the way will no doubt conclude that humans are crazy."

    Simply finding an automobile in orbit is pretty much the equivalent of noticing someone wore 2 mismatched socks compared to the big crazy some dozen miles below. I mean standing naked in the rain painted purple strumming a cheese grater and screaming "F you and the atom bomb too!" crazy down below....

    BTW, shouldn't he have launched the Supercharger station first?

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Hey Mac, you can't park that there!

      "BTW, shouldn't he have launched the Supercharger station first?"

      Still need the 'Big Fucking Rocket' for that one...

      and someone to come up to the window and say "Charge 'er up, sir?"

    2. LDS Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: Hey Mac, you can't park that there!

      Hope the car is insured, when it will hurt the MRO.... maybe because the driver missed the --->

      1. onefang Silver badge

        Re: Hey Mac, you can't park that there!

        Is the driver licensed? Imagine the fine for going several thousands of km/h over the speed limit.

        1. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Re: Hey Mac, you can't park that there!

          Is the driver licensed? Imagine the fine for going several thousands of km/h over the speed limit.

          Where this is going...a) there are no roads and b) the only speed limit is the speed of light. Now where did I park the DeLorean?

          1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

            Re: Hey Mac, you can't park that there!

            Infinity welcomes careful drivers.

            1. TRT Silver badge

              Re: Hey Mac, you can't park that there!

              Truly a red dwarf.

        2. Long John Brass Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Hey Mac, you can't park that there!

          Is the driver licensed? Imagine the fine for going several thousands of km/h over the speed limit.

          Don't be silly; It's a Tesla they can drive themselves!

  11. Zebo-the-Fat

    Sweet

    Very nice, but I would want a few more launches before I got in the drivers seat!

    By coincidence, a Tesla shot past me today in NE England doing around mach 5, not sure about the colour due to the red shift!

  12. James_H
    Pint

    Simply stunning

    Absolutely amazing. Great to watch and quite the accomplishment. I raise a beer to all.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Simply stunning

      Yes, I'm no fan of his electric cars, but Musk certainly showed that he can pull a great engineering team together.

      Brings back happy memories of watching Saturn V Apollo launches as a child (also only on TV, fingers crossed I'll get to see a Falcon Heavy launch in person one day) and that twin landing was superb.

  13. CentralCoasty
    Holmes

    Media-hype

    Showmanship

    Media-circus

    but at the end of the day it was a successful launch of a new heavy-lifter which shows the leaps that technology has made over the last 20 years and will (hopefully) help us ageing sci-fi fans dream that maybe we can make that great leap before we shuffle off this mortal coil.

    1. Big John Silver badge

      I disagree. The hype is there, to be sure, but it COULD have been a whole lot worse. Musk is to be congratulated for not succumbing to temptation and letting it become a circus. Well, done, Elon.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's the Stig!

    "In the front seat was a dummy wearing a SpaceX-designed spacesuit, at least that's what we're told. Some have speculated this is a foolproof way to dump a dead body."

    White fireproof overalls, white helmet, dark visor ... some say he can breathe in outer sapce, some say he comes from mars ... we only know he is the Stig.

    .... seems unlikely given their space rivalry but has Belos got Musk to dispose of the one bit of TopGear he couldn't buy as a warning to the BBC?

    1. Mike Richards Silver badge

      Re: It's the Stig!

      You might be on to something - after all Musk is only copying the majestic Top Gear Robin Reliant space shuttle with its reusable boosters.

      1. madmalc

        Re: It's the Stig!

        I have to say - the launch of the Top Gear Reliant Robin was itself very nearly awesome

        1. steamrunner

          Re: It's the Stig!

          "I have to say - the launch of the Top Gear Reliant Robin was itself very nearly awesome"

          Upvoted for the 'very nearly' insertion :)

    2. Long John Brass Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: It's the Stig!

      Some have speculated this is a foolproof way to dump a dead body.

      Anyone seen Amber Heard lately?

    3. Andy The Hat Silver badge

      Re: It's the Stig!

      Why has the internet not filled with the obvious

      "STIG'S IN SPAAAACCCEEEE ..."

      It can generate groans across the generations :-)

  15. Blofeld's Cat
    Pint

    Don't Panic!

    Nice to see that Douglas Adams quote on the dash.

    Not only are SpaceX doing fantastic science and engineering, they're having fun as well.

    1. Geoff Campbell

      Re: Don't Panic!

      There was also a copy of the book and a towel in the glove box, I hear. Very cool.

      GJC

      1. Geoff Campbell
        Go

        Re: Don't Panic!

        I see my stalker has woken up again, registering a downvote against every message I post, however innocuous. Welcome back!

        GJC

  16. gecho

    Orbit / Broadcast Longevity

    I'm curious how long space dude will be able to broadcast. Like does the test payload have solar panels or just a battery. Eventually he'll be out of range (presuming NASA won't allocate any time on their deep space network for this mission). But will his orbit bring him back within range of Earth somewhere down the ... road.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Orbit / Broadcast Longevity

      No solar panels but the Tesla has a big battery, probably 85kWh or for those who prefer more official El Reg units about 70,833 small (aka AAA) gold topped batteries.

      Plenty of power but once the rocket engine fires up to push it into the heliocentric orbit we wont have an HD signal for long.

      1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

        Re: Orbit / Broadcast Longevity

        Others have suggested there are no Tesla batteries in it. No idea if they swapped them for orbital grade ones?

      2. ravenviz Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Orbit / Broadcast Longevity

        about 70,833

        That seems to be exactly 70,833.

        1. Steve Todd

          Re: Orbit / Broadcast Longevity

          I'm not sure about his conversion factor either. I make it closer to 60,000 AAA cells. Source: http://www.allaboutbatteries.com/Energy-tables.html

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Orbit / Broadcast Longevity

            Duracell ?

    2. Mikel

      Re: Orbit / Broadcast Longevity

      Musk said 12 hours.

  17. SalemTheRat

    I so wish I could read Jerry Pournelle's comments on this.

  18. PhilipN Silver badge

    ******g A, Elon!

    Well done, son!

    As a side note, El Reg's resident musical sub-editor had better go to the BBC. El Beeb said the music on loop was Space Oddity. Gulp! Every fule no that would be an inauspicious track (with a less-than-happy ending) to use on such a flight. It was of course the more famous title track to the gritty Northern police drama starring Philip Glenister and John Simm.

    1. Corwin_X

      Re: ******g A, Elon!

      The *title* track was Life on Mars and I recently re-watched the whole series - can't remember Space Oddity anywhere.

      1. PhilipN Silver badge

        Re: Life on Mars

        Urrmmmm ... yes .... I know ....

  19. Corwin_X

    I suspect Musk may be a fan of the "Soft Landing" opening sequence of the Heavy Metal movie (animation film 1980). A 57 Chevvy, released from a shuttle making re-entry with an astronaut at the wheel.

    Sounds crazy but it's cool as hell with some great music!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UI-7MZMZhyM

    1. jake Silver badge

      Not a '57

      The quad headlamp design was released in '58 ...

    2. graeme leggett Silver badge

      See what you mean. Elon putting plenty of cultural references into the mix it seems.

      (first bit of that film I've seen since as a teenager a triple bill I attended at my local cinema mid 80s - lineup was Heavy Metal, Led Zeppelins The Song Remains the Same, and Woodstock.)

  20. jake Silver badge

    Can't sell it, the battery's old and tired.

    Junkyards won't take 'em for hazmat reasons.

    Recycling them is a bitch.

    So how to get rid of the thing?

    I know! I'm rich, I'll send it to Mars where I can't be jailed for illegal dumping!

    1. eldakka Silver badge

      Re: Can't sell it, the battery's old and tired.

      > I know! I'm rich, I'll send it to Mars where I can't be jailed for illegal dumping!

      Sending it into the Sun would have been easier than Mars, work with the gravity well, not against.

      I suspect it's more likely he is trying to colonize Mars, I deduce there are seeds of some type (you probably don't want to shine a blacklight on the upholstery...) in the car that will be released onto Mars.

      1. Long John Brass Silver badge

        Re: Can't sell it, the battery's old and tired.

        Oddly enough the Delta-V to get to the sun is 24.0m/s vs. 3.6m/s for Mars. Gotta burn off all that orbital momentum :)

        *Numbers are from the oft slightly wrong WikiPedia and the more often wrong understanding I have when reading it

        1. I&I

          Re: Can't sell it, the battery's old and tired.

          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delta-v_budget

          “To get to the sun, it is actually not necessary to use a Δv of 24 km/s. One can use 8.8 km/s to go very far away from the sun, then use a negligible Δv to bring the angular momentum to zero, and then fall into the sun.”

          No-one said it had to -remain- at the sun, just had to get there.

          1. Symon Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: Can't sell it, the battery's old and tired.

            "go very far away from the sun, then use a negligible Δv to bring the angular momentum to zero, and then fall into the [heart of the] sun."

            That's what Pink Floyd did, I reckon.

      2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Can't sell it, the battery's old and tired.

        Sending it into the Sun would have been easier than Mars, work with the gravity well, not against.

        The sun is the most difficult body in the solar system to get to, because you need to cancel out all of the orbital velocity that you already have by virtue of launching from Earth.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delta-v_budget

      3. Chavdar Ivanov

        Re: Can't sell it, the battery's old and tired.

        Nope, it would not have been, It is actually extremely difficult to send anything towards the Sun. For example - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parker_Solar_Probe .

      4. Dr Scrum Master

        Re: Can't sell it, the battery's old and tired.

        Sending it into the Sun would have been easier than Mars, work with the gravity well, not against.

        But the car's the wrong colour for that, it would have to be black, with black trim, black switches, black dials, etc.

        1. Mikel

          Re: Can't sell it, the battery's old and tired.

          We'll send it at night.

        2. Alistair Silver badge
          Windows

          Re: Can't sell it, the battery's old and tired.

          @Dr Scrum Master,

          But don't black cars look better in the shade?

      5. Brangdon

        Re: seeds of some type

        This car isn't going any near Mars. It will cross Mars orbit, but Mars won't be there at the time. It'll get close to the asteroid belt before it falls back.

    2. Geoff Campbell
      Boffin

      Re: Can't sell it, the battery's old and tired.

      It's not going to Mars. The aim was for a Mars transfer orbit, which is an elliptical orbit around the Sun. Looks like they overshot (more or less intentionally, they just burned the rocket until the fuel ran out) and it's now headed for the asteroids. Which is deeply, deeply cool.

      GJC

  21. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Good Engineering

    Oh, and there will be some very unhappy pork barrelers... to my great delight.

  22. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
    Pint

    Huge thumbs up...

    For the headline!

    MY GOD, IT'S FULL OF CARS

    Oh, and well done SpaceX too for giving the El Reg headline writer the necessary material!

  23. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    probably the *real* achievements are not so obvious.

    Stuff like starting up a 27 engine vehicle (biggest since the Russian N-1, which never achieved a single full launch), guiding a payload about 5800x further than GEO, synchronizing the landings of 3 booster stages.

    The big surprise is the claim the 3rd booster took out the landing barge, given all the other failed recoveries left the barge pretty much intact.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: probably the *real* achievements are not so obvious.

      I guess he's going to need some steenkeeng barges ...

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: probably the *real* achievements are not so obvious.

      I guess we need a bigger barge.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: probably the *real* achievements are not so obvious.

      "The big surprise is the claim the 3rd booster took out the landing barge, given all the other failed recoveries left the barge pretty much intact."

      It's been reported that only one of the three engines required to land it lit up and it came in at about 300mph (or was it 300kph?)

    4. Brangdon

      Re: took out the landing barge

      Apparently it hit the water about 100m away, and explosion did some damage to the barge, but "took out" is over-stating it.

  24. Mike Richards Silver badge

    That shot of the boosters landing

    Straight out of Thunderbirds - Mr Anderson would be delighted.

  25. PghMike

    Kudos on the headline

    Although surprisingly, 2001 was 17 years ago.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Kudos on the headline

      But I still don't have a wheel spacestation and an Orbital Hilton Hotel. With Russians waiting in the lobby.

      1. AceRimmer1980
        Thumb Up

        Re: Kudos on the headline

        And Blue Danube on the radio, while it self-docks.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Kudos on the headline

        "But I still don't have a wheel spacestation and an Orbital Hilton Hotel. With Russians waiting in the lobby."

        Or a ticket for a PanAm space plane.

        1. Symon Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Kudos on the headline

          That's no Russian; that's Rigsby.

  26. gerdesj Silver badge

    Good skills.

  27. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    Awesome.

    I blew coffee all over the keyboard at that synchrolanding.

    Then it became hilarious when they had to quickly bring in the fixer guy who could, at the same time, walk, chew gum and generate a zesty announcement that lawyers cannot glom onto when it became clear that the core was gone and the two designated announcers were about to mismanage the situation.

    1. Axman

      Two views, one camera

      The bottom two views from the side launchers coming in to land were probably meant to show the camera shots from each individual booster, but they are actually just duplicates from the one camera on one of the boosters - this is clearly visible at the end as they come in to land on Landing Zones 1 & 2 and 'both' rockets land on the same LZ.

      This takes nothing away from the achievement and the external shots clearly show the near simultaneous landing, but in the interest of completeness I thought I'd point it out before the conspiracy theorist/flat earth nutters get their teeth into it.

      But, as you say, Awesome.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've seen things you people would not believe..

    The first Concorde out of Filton (and the last one to fly in to Filton) Man landing on the Moon, the first 747 to fly into Heathrow and now twin boosters landing back at the launch pad. Perhaps Engineering still lives.

  29. Barry Rueger Silver badge

    Cool. Just Cool

    Nothing you will ever do in your life will be as cool as firing a cherry red Tesla into orbit.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Cool. Just Cool

      I can beat that hands down.

      I assisted in the delivery of my daughter.

      1. Geoff Campbell

        Re: Cool. Just Cool

        I lounged around the place eating chinese takeaway whilst my daughter was born, and now also claim that I assisted in the process. Although I try to make sure I've got a good head-start on my dear Wife when I do so.

        GJC

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Cool. Just Cool

          And I'm sure your "dear Wife" is ever so pleased, Geoff.

          1. Geoff Campbell

            Re: Cool. Just Cool

            She claims to be, yes.

            You should, perhaps, learn not to take humorous comments posted twenty years after the event as actual gospel truth, although I confess that there was chinese takeway involved at one point - birth is a long process, a chap gets hungry.

            GJC

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Cool. Just Cool

        What's the name & location at the of the partner?

        Just wondering in case I assisted in the creation process...

        Saunters off whistling the song backdoor man

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Cool. Just Cool

          Judging by the sophomoric attempt at humo(u)r[0], I rather suspect you weren't yet an itch in your father's pants when my daughter was born.

          [0] I mean, really? That one was old before Shakespeare set quill to parchment ...

      3. jake Silver badge

        Re: Cool. Just Cool

        Looks like we're running about 2 parents to one not (yet) a parent.

        Interesting. I guessed about 1:1 when I made the post.

  30. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    Not the first electric car in space...

    Not even the third. The Lunar Rovers beat him by decades. ;-)

    Spectacular day.

    1. fandom Silver badge

      Re: Not the first electric car in space...

      That's nothing!

      There where cars in space decades before that, somewhere in a little planet called Earth

    2. DropBear Silver badge

      Re: Not the first electric car in space...

      It kinda depends on your specific definition of what qualifies as a car though, anywhere between "a thing with wheels transporting people" and "a road-legal car as we know it". But yeah, sure, we did have buggies in space...

  31. This post has been deleted by its author

  32. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Joke

    Julian Assange

    missed a chance to stowaway on board and put himself beyond the reach of the long arm of the law

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Julian Assange

      Dunno about you, but I couldn't see who was behind the visor.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Julian Assange

        Park the car at the exact point of gravitational balance between the Earth and the Moon?

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: Julian Assange

          Noo! The Earth-Moon L1 & L2 points are more useful. So L1 as the location of a proper space station acting as a waystation between Earth and Moon. The kinda thing a 'cheap' heavy lift rocket could help build. Then have lunar robo-dozers feeding dust into a lunarcrete fab plant (or solar forge?) to make segments for a Mars ship. Kinda like the segments used to line the Crossrail and other tunnels. Lift a few loads of epoxy & bolts and assemble at the L1 waystation. Make a few of those and use'em as tube trains to Mars. Simple!.. Well, in my head anyway.. :)

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re: Julian Assange

            What does the 'L' in 'L1' & 'L2' stand for?

            1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

              Re: Julian Assange

              Lagrange (point)

              1. TRT Silver badge

                Re: Julian Assange

                So Assange at Lagrange.

                It's not a joke if one has to explain it.

                1. Alistair Silver badge
                  Windows

                  Re: Julian Assange

                  w/r/t Assange at Lagrange;

                  Please GOD no. If we're gonna bring Assange into this, lets put him on OCISLY. In the centre of the deck. For the next landing. Preferably wearing a silver painted jellied kerosene suit.

                2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
                  Coat

                  Re: Julian Assange

                  There's Klingons on the starboard bow, starboard bow, starboard bow;

                  there's Klingons on the starboard bow, starboard bow, Jim.

                  There's Assange on the starboard bow, starboard bow, starboard bow;

                  it's Assange at the Lagrange Point, Jim.

            2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

              SpaceX can't do it

              If you send Assange to a Lagrange,

              You gotita do it on a Soyuz,

              So's he can take along his lawyers.

              1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Re: SpaceX can't do it

                If you send Assange to a Lagrange,

                You gotita do it on a Soyuz,

                So's he can take along his lawyers.

                LOL, that reads like song lyrics.

                1. TRT Silver badge

                  Re: SpaceX can't do it

                  Space Embassy.

                  1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                    Re: SpaceX can't do it

                    I dunno, "Assange at Lagrange" sounds more like a gig at the wrong end of the Vegas Strip.

                    1. TRT Silver badge

                      Re: Park the car at a Lagrange point...

                      IF... he took along enough change for the parking meteor, of course.

        2. DropBear Silver badge

          Re: Julian Assange

          "The exact point of gravitational balance between the Earth and the Moon" is not very useful actually, depending on how you define "gravitational balance". The spot where the Earth and the Moon pull on you equally in opposite directions is nowhere near stable actually - the spot where the difference between those two exactly balances out the effects of your orbital speed around Earth is the one you're looking for (and known as "L1", with others all the way to "L5" )

        3. handleoclast Silver badge

          Re: Julian Assange

          Park the car at the exact point of gravitational balance between the Earth and the Moon?

          L1 and L2 are both meta-stable. Like balancing a marble on top of a needle. You can do it, but the slightest nudge...

          L4 or L5 is a better bet. Both stable. Well, for small(ish) nudges.

          OTOH, another (less precise) way of describing L1 and L1 is "unstable." So perhaps a perfect place for Assange.

  33. Solo Owl
    Pint

    No doubt Elon Musk decided it was time to trade in his no-longer-shiny red roadster....

  34. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Coat

    Jeff Bezos

    Some have speculated this is a foolproof way to dump a dead body. No further comment.

    Anyone seen him recently?

    https://mobile.twitter.com/elonmusk/status/960550111632875525

  35. Winkypop Silver badge
    Alien

    Car update

    Apparently someone has already stolen the wheels....

  36. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Saw it from 3 miles away

    I plopped for the "feel the heat" package for $230 which meant you got bussed to the Saturn V center, about 3 miles from the pad and 9 miles from the landing zones. We stopped on the way at the Shuttle Landing Facility to see the plaque where Atlantis rolled to a stop in 2011 at the end of the last Shuttle mission. That was unexpected. The 4.5km long 100m wide strip is a huge piece of tarmac.

    Anyway, there were no winds locally, they were all high-altitude and you could see wisps of clouds skidding over. It was a beautiful perfect Florida day. Sunny, 78F and barely any clouds.

    Bill Nye was there to stump for people to join The Planetary Society. He's actually got a nice sense of humor.

    Most of us figured there was about a 30% chance it would launch, and we were wasting our time. People didn't think it would go "boom" but they also realized most "first" launches get scrubbed 2 or 3 times.

    If you think the SpaceX people were cheering and yelling, they didn't have nuthin' on this crowd. When they announced fueling start, people went nuts. When they announced "go" for the launch at 3pm, people went nuts.

    We got to hear the SpaceX webcast without the usual 10 second delay.

    It was REALLY LOUD. AND BRIGHT. It was welding-torch bright. And yes, we were warned to stay away from the Saturn V center glass windows, which was a good idea as you could hear the entire building shaking at launch from 100 feet away. Of course you were shaking too. Megadeth & AC/DC only wish they could get a bass rumble that deep and loud.

    You could see the boosters fall away, then they were two bright dots overhead for the re-entry burn, then they fell some more, and finally they did that synchronized science-fiction landing just to the left of the VAB, from where we were sitting. Just amazing. You couldn't script something that looked so much like a '50s sci-fi movie.

    Just after they landed, there was the 4 sonic booms BAM-BAM, BAM-BAM, and then the rumble of the landing rockets, as the sound finally got to us.

    Afterwards, we got a complementary champagne toast in a nice glass keepsake that says "Falcon Heavy Test Mission 2018", and a SpaceX Falcon Heavy hat, and a red "Falcon Heavy: I was there" t-shirt. So it was literally "been there, got the t-shirt"

    Worth every nickle.

    1. jake Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Saw it from 3 miles away

      Thanks for the eyewitness report, Gene.

      This round's on me.

    2. WallMeerkat Bronze badge

      Re: Saw it from 3 miles away

      A great day out, you were guaranteed an impressive launch or some fireworks. Would've been spectacular either way, in the end truly inspirational.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Saw it from 3 miles away

      What, no flamethrower?

  37. willi0000000

    thumbthing else

    apparently, Musk confirmed that there's a towel in the glove box.

  38. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    And, for the Brits...

    I wonder what's happeining with our Skylon?

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: And, for the Brits...

      The Skylon, being a potentially very useful and cheap piece of space hardware, is starved of development funds whilst the tech is slow appropriated by Airbus.

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: And, for the Brits...

      Skylon? Isn't that a cemetery?

  39. ITnoob

    This is the result of some seriously impressive hardware and software engineering. You've got to take your hat off to them.

  40. TRT Silver badge

    I can just imagine the scene now at control centre...

    Well, that was a success.

    Time to go home. I'll just get my key... oh.

    Hey, guys! Anyone give me a lift home? Guys? Fellas?* Hey! Come on.... it's a long walk to the bus stop.

    *In the entirely genderless sense of course.

  41. post-truth

    I'm no petrol-head. But you gotta admire the man's style.

    Besides, a toast: Confusion to the aliens!

    1. TRT Silver badge

      The Mighty Zog...

      Will be most pleased with the delivery of his new vehicle.

      1. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: The Mighty Zog...

        I sure am.

    2. DropBear Silver badge
      Trollface

      I find it thoroughly amusing that in the case any aliens ever actually find and retrieve the puzzling object they found in orbit around the Sun (assuming no other knowledge of us down here), the real explanation of what it is and how and why it got up there will eternally stay relegated to "crackpot conspiracy theory" territory - no sane alien archaeologist will ever subscribe to "purely because we can and because it's cool, no practical purpose whatsoever"...

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        no sane alien archaeologist will ever subscribe to "purely because we can and because it's cool, no practical purpose whatsoever"...

        Future archaeologist: "It's probably for religious purposes"

        1. jake Silver badge

          Waddayamean "Future archaeologist"?

          To all intents and purposes the purpose is religious.

      2. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Humans are still Team "Hold my beer, I got this".

      3. tiggity Silver badge

        In addition to towel, HTHGTG etc etched on some of the PCBs is "created on earth by humans" (paraphrase, words to that effect at any rate) - Musk posted a pic of it that was picked up by some news outlets

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Created by humans indeed...

          Created by ROBOTS more like.

  42. Bill_Sticker
    Pint

    Wonder if the Tesla will outlast the Voyager probes? Like the thought of mans real message to the cosmos being 'Don't Panic'.

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge

      Wonder if the Tesla will outlast the Voyager probes?

      The Voyagers are less likely to be hit by a stray lump of space rock. Also, any non-metal parts on the Tesla will degrade and crumble over time because they weren't designed with exposure to space-level radiation in mind.

      It's quite likely though that a few hundred years on a metal hunk roughly the shape of a Tesla Roadster, with a desiccated human corpse with a few scraps of what used to be a space suit about it behind the wheel, will still be orbiting the Sun. At the same time the Voyagers will be hurtling towards AC+79 3888 and Ross 248 respectively, and probably more intact than that Roadster will be.

      1. ravenviz Silver badge

        Re: Wonder if the Tesla will outlast the Voyager probes?

        It'll probably disintegrate into a tenuous ring, maybe the Earth will pass through it someday and we can watch the Teslids!

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Wonder if the Tesla will outlast the Voyager probes?

          With that elliptical heliocentric orbit, it's likely to unwind into a sort of a coil in space. A Tesla coil.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hey, Elon, did webuyanycar give you a bad quote or something?

  44. madmalc

    Over emotional

    Digesting my breakfast this morning in McDonalds, I read that Isaac Asimov's Foundation novels were on board the car and burst into tears.

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Re: Over emotional

      @madmalc,

      Don't worry, eating McDonald's does that to me, too.

    2. Symon Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Over emotional

      Did you have the burger with guacamule?

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: guacamule

        Donkey?

  45. harmjschoonhoven
    Happy

    Universal Parking, Inc.

    Great Sci-Fi story from Nature:

    http://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-017-08969-w

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Universal Parking, Inc.

      harmjschoonhoven,

      Thanks, loved the story .... nice punchline actually LOL'ed !!!

  46. The_H

    Awesome

    If Elon Musk's anything like me (unlikely, but stay with me) he'll be realising about now that he's left his wallet in the glove box.

  47. Isitari
    Alert

    Don't know if posted already?

    The main booster didn't run out of fuel. The rocket(s) failed to ignite on re-entry. The Beeb and the reg appear to have it wrong (source: Ars Technica).

    1. Geoff Campbell

      Re: Don't know if posted already?

      The two are not mutually exclusive. I don't know enough about the fuel system to know if fuel starvation might have caused the failure to re-light.

      GJC

    2. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Don't know if posted already?

      At the time of writing, it was suspected the engines ran out of "fuel." We weren't invited to the press conference. Can't think why. Anyway, SpaceX later clarified it ran out of ignitor fuel.

      We've tweaked the article, and another piece is coming.

      C.

  48. chivo243 Silver badge
    Trollface

    Full = 1?

    Time to get snarky here... One car fills space?

  49. Steen Larsen

    Ran out of igniter fuel

    The center core did not run out of the main fuel. Apparently it ran out of the hypergolic igniter fuel TEA/TEB so that it could not ignite the rocket engines for the landing burn. As a result it crashed into the sea with 500 km/h.

    Best regards

    Steen

    PS. Have a look at the press conference with Elon.

    1. Ben1892

      Re: Ran out of igniter fuel

      Firstly, this is an awesome achievement and for any mission this is a win, they have loads of data that can improve the thing(s) that went wrong.

      Visually, on the landing descent, the centre core looked like it was going to slam into the ocean. There's normally a noticeable amount of flame even when the engines aren't fired up - I'm guessing this must be a steady flow of the igniter fuel you mention, this was absent on the centre core to my untrained eyes so it must have run out a fair way before the landing zone.

    2. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Ran out of igniter fuel

      At the time of writing, it was suspected the engines ran out of "fuel." We weren't invited to the press conference. Anyway, SpaceX later clarified it ran out of ignitor fuel.

      We've tweaked the article, and another piece is coming.

      C.

  50. WallMeerkat Bronze badge
    Alien

    All you rocket scientists out there

    Assuming that the video feed from the car continues indefinitely, at what point will it have to stop to buffer owing to time delay?

    Or will the stream just get a little slower every now and then? If the music is playing would this be noticed?

    I can't get my head around it. Need more coffee.

    1. DropBear Silver badge
      Trollface

      Kudos for inventing the easiest, simplest and shortest way to explain relativity and time dilation to millennials...

    2. Killfalcon Bronze badge

      It's already playing more slowly to us - just imperceptibly so, taking 1.00000000000001 [number made up] seconds on the ground to play 1 second of music from the car. It'll add up to an increasingly long lag.

      On the return part of the loop, when it's flying towards us, it'll take 0.9999999999999999 [number made up] seconds on the ground to play 1 second of music as-played-in-car.

      It's a bit like Doppler shifting sirens on ambulances going past you.

  51. David Roberts Silver badge
    Pint

    Awesome

    Surfing the news and came upon the live feed about 30 seconds before the launch.

    Some restrained cheering, plus a heartfelt "fucking hell!" when the two boosters landed.

    A big demerit for not having planned to watch it.

    Would have been nice to see Pork Hogthrob in the passenger seat, though.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Awesome

      That's Link Hogthrob. Capt. Hogthrob to you.

      1. David Roberts Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Awesome - Link correction

        Posted in haste, just found time to come back and correct it.

        Thanks for picking it up :-)

        Upvoted.

  52. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Joke

    GPS

    Actually Elon had nothing to do with it. The driver was simply trying to get to Albuquerque and blindly following his GPS..

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: GPS

      was he using Apple Maps?

      1. Geoff Campbell
        Facepalm

        Re: GPS

        Apple Maps even at its worst has absolutely *nothing* on the howlers the Tesla SatNav can perpetrate.

        Fortunately, I hear there's a completely new SatNav application due to land Real Soon Now, and being an honourable company Tesla will roll it out to all their cars using the OTA update mechanism.

        GJC

        1. onefang Silver badge

          Re: GPS

          "Fortunately, I hear there's a completely new SatNav application due to land Real Soon Now, and being an honourable company Tesla will roll it out to all their cars using the OTA update mechanism."

          Hopefully the space Tesla will still be in range for the OTA update, or it might get lost.

          1. onefang Silver badge

            Re: GPS

            "Hopefully the space Tesla will still be in range for the OTA update, or it might get lost."

            It got lost - http://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/02/07/spacex_telsa_roadster_asteroids/

        2. ArrZarr Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: GPS

          @Geoff Campbell

          Hopefully not at 480 km/h though

          More seriously, the video of two boosters landing like that from a single launch has to be the coolest fucking thing that I've ever seen. Amazing job to all involved and hope that the BFR/BFS works out even better.

          1. Geoff Campbell

            Re: GPS

            Hell yes. An amazing show.

            GJC

        3. kwhitefoot

          Re: GPS

          Any idea how soon? For now I'm sticking my trusty N9 to the dash so I can get reliable routing. Tesla's own routes me down B roads; in Devon that's a bit stressful in a wider than average car.

          1. Geoff Campbell

            Re: GPS

            Last I heard was "Early 2018", although I have seen people claiming that Tesla said "January 2018", but I've seen no evidence of that myself.

            Either way, it probably won't be long now. Say, middle of next year...

            GJC

      2. ravenviz Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: GPS

        was he using Apple Maps?

        Major TomTom doesn't use Apple!

    2. TRT Silver badge

      Re: GPS

      Marvin the Martian: You should've turned left at Albuquerque...

  53. Pat Harkin
    Coat

    Wow.

    When the signs at Space X say "NO PARKING - TOW AWAY ZONE" they aren't bluffing...

  54. Velv Silver badge
    Coat

    The crew of the ISS are now looking at each other asking "who ordered the Uber?"

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    fake moon landing

    good job but the boosters landing looked fake. For something so impressive just one static camera shot.

  56. johnx

    BFR wrong

    BFR means big falcon rocket, not big *&$%"* rocket. Unnecessary language from the register.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: BFR wrong

      Fuck off

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: BFR wrong

        Swearing isn't big, and it isn't clever.

        ...

        ...

        ...although it's sometimes very funny...

    2. defiler Silver badge

      Re: BFR wrong

      It was initially Big Fucking Rocket, in homage to the BFG 9000 in DooM.

      It has been retrospectively Stalined to something more in the Party Line. And also something that I'm happy to discuss with my 8-year-old kids, who stayed up to watch the launch.

    3. Alistair Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: BFR wrong

      @ johnx

      Even if the marketing paperwork says Big Falcon Rocket, its still one big fucking rocket, dude.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Some good photos to throw at the flat earthers

    1. TRT Silver badge

      The photos do show a flat Earth, though.

  58. Electricity_Guy

    One of the best headlines, very good.

  59. Hunterman

    Why stop at a Tesla Roadster?

    How about a double-decker bus? - say, a Bristol VR?

    ... as in Virtual Reality?

  60. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    Could Musk be more of an anglophile?

    British car - check(ish)

    British music - check

    British book - check x 2 (3 if you include the name of the drone barge)

    Dummy named after British rock god - check

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Could Musk be more of an anglophile?

      The absolute give away, though, is if his car doesn't run on petrol, or if it doesn't run on gas.

    2. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Could Musk be more of an anglophile?

      Furry dice hanging from the mirror and "Gaz & Shaz" printed on a turquoise vinyl windscreen sticker?

      No check. Fail.

  61. H22A

    GCU Arbitrary

    Loved this. Spot on too. Pity it was a Tesla and not Diziet Sma in a Volvo!

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: GCU Arbitrary

      It was, however a roadster. AKA a spyder. On Mars.

      Excellent.

  62. IanDs

    Nah, that's not heavy lift. *This* is heavy lift...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Orion_(nuclear_propulsion)

    "Super" Orion would have lifted 8M tons to Mars compared to 17 tons for Falcon Heavy ;-)

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Yeah, but not sure I want to be left behind on any planet a few of those took off from.

  63. CountZer0
    Flame

    Core stage failed to land when it ran out of TEA/TEB ignitor, NOT fuel.

    Elon Musk gave said in the news conference that they had run out of TEA/TEB (triethylaluminium / trielthylborane) ingnitor mix, so only one of the 3 engines started on the final approach. Reports of propellant running out are incorrect and being widely reported.. as usual. El Reg can do better! Running out of tea seems so HHGttG though...

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Core stage failed to land when it ran out of TEA/TEB ignitor, NOT fuel.

      At the time of writing, it was suspected the engines ran out of fuel. We weren't invited to the press conference. Can't think why. Anyway, it ran out of ignitor, so... close enough, ish. We've tweaked the article and another piece is coming.

      C.

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It nearly worked

    To be fair the central core nearly made it back intact, this is merely proof that the technology can be improved.

    One intriguing thing I did read is that the Falcon engines are made of materials that did not exist in 1967. A lot of the problems with the Russian N-1 were simple engineering issues such as not having filters on the fuel line(s) and with time could have been fixed.

    The N1 had a lift capacity 1.3* that of the Falcon Heavy but was not intended to be reusable.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: It nearly worked

      I suspec the reusability aspect is going to get fudged over time. The landings look great but I'm not convinced of the long term viability versus some kind of 3D printing base production line.

  65. Andrew Moore Silver badge

    Wrong track...

    The obvious choice would have been Don Felder's Takin' A Ride (from the film Heavy Metal) rather than Space Oddity.

  66. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Sending it Mars?

    The real trick would have been to have brought it back and parked it on his drive.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      He's only going forwards, 'cos he still can't find reverse.

  67. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Reusable?

    The Falcon Heavy is now officially the most powerful reusable rocket flying today,

    I thought the main stage crashed and burned? It's a fantastic achievement but the "core failure" disqualifies the use of the term reusable: this is rocket science and it is hard.

    Nice timing by Musk to try and distract attention from the mounting financial problems at Tesla.

    1. Alistair Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Reusable?

      @Charlie Clark:

      Well, Meatloaf will tell you that two out of three ain't bad. And the shorter point is that the two side boosters *were already* used, this was their second flight(s). So, yes, reusable.

    2. FrozenShamrock

      Re: Reusable?

      Timing? A launch like this is planned months/years in advance, so unless Elon knew the financial problems would be getting real back about now it doesn't look as if he timed it that way.

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hank Scorpio / Tony Stark

    Elon Musk seems to be Hank Scorpio or Tony Stark - he has done more to improve technology than anyone else I've seen so far.

    Just wondering when he'll have a volcano lair or Avengers tower.

    1. nil0

      Re: Hank Scorpio / Tony Stark

      or Cave Johnson

  69. Mark 56

    Should've named the barge "Europa"...

    1. nil0

      ...attempt no landing there.

  70. onefang Silver badge

    Any book that includes a fat lady astronaut singing is Space Opera, Shirley?

  71. AndGregor

    Sterling work

    As a forty 'something' year old with four kids of my own. For a few minutes last night I genuinely felt like a kid again. Watching the car in space and then the side boosters landing.. just wow ! That alone is enough to convince me to buy one of his cars, when I can afford it.

  72. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge
    Go

    50 years.

    I was aged one when Armstrong landed on the moon. I'm told that I was kept awake to see it, but I don't remember.

    My childhood was filled with the wonder and possibility of space travel. As I grew up in the seventies and eighties it seemed that within my life time the heavens would yield up to mankind and to science.

    It didn't, and that made me into a more cynical adult than I might've been.

    Today, I watched that launch and, more amazingly, the science-ficitonesque return of the boosters to Earth, and my hope was re-awakened. I might just believe that I'll see a Mars landing in my lifespan yet.

    I'll be honest with you, as I also happen to be a huge Bowie fan, when I saw that mad car, with the comical dummy in it, orbiting the Earth to the strains of my favourite tracks and realized what it represented...

    ...I nearly wept.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 50 years.

      I just love it for having Don't Panic written in large letters on the dash.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: 50 years.

        Would they be friendly letters, by any chance?

    2. FrozenShamrock

      Re: 50 years.

      I'm old enough to have watched the first moon landing, it was spectacular. Seeing yesterday's launch, and booster recovery (2 out of 3 ain't bad) reminded me of the confidence and optimism of that time. We could actually do things, BIG things. I have doubted SpaceX in the past but have to admit they know what they are doing and could be leading the way to bigger and better things.

      And, who are the 2,500+ people who down voted the live video stream from the car? How can you not like that?!

      1. Alistair Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: 50 years.

        "And, who are the 2,500+ people who down voted the live video stream from the car? How can you not like that?!"

        I'm gonna guess they're the flat earth society members downvoting the government propaganda.

        Either that or they just don't like Bowie.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 50 years.

      I was aged one when Armstrong landed on the moon. I'm told that I was kept awake to see it, but I don't remember.

      I was nine, and desperately wanted to see it, having followed all the Apollo programme. I was told that I couldn't be allowed to stay up that late (3am?) on a Sunday night, and I remember going to bed in tears.

      But I also remember my Mum waking me in the small hours of the morning, she and Dad had talked and decided it was just too historic an event for my sister & I to miss. We all sat in front of the TV eating toast :) and watched that fuzzy live broadcast of Neil Armstrong's small step. I've always been so grateful to them for reconsidering and, like you, I hope the next generations will have the chance to finally continue that giant leap.

  73. WibbleMe

    I bet it will still get wheel clamped!

  74. JJKing
    Facepalm

    Mafia mystery finally solved.

    I guess we all know the location of Jimmy Hoffa now.

    The vehicle that drove on the moon was not a car but was called a Moon Buggy so Tesla is the first car in space.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mafia mystery finally solved.

      I thought the first car was a Mercury.

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: Mafia mystery finally solved.

      By that logic, my 1965 Meyers Manx isn't a car. I suspect the California DMV might take issue with that opinion.

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Low mileage car?

    How many miles per gallon does it get?

    1. Col_Panek

      Re: Low mileage car?

      It used no electricity, but thousands of gallons of kerosene and liquid oxygen. I didn't do the math because I couldn't find how much fuel the rocket carried. But I'd guess his mileage isn't so great until he starts coasting.

  76. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Going to the asteroid belt.

    His No Claims Discount might not survive that.

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Robot cars

    At the next planet take a U turn.

  78. HurdImpropriety

    Curious how the dashboard and fabric in the car will look after a couple of years under intense sun

    Curious how the dashboard and fabric in the car will look after a couple of years under intense sun.

    Because you know how cars degrade under the sun... LOL

  79. greifpad

    Real Vision, Real Engineering

    i literally sat on the edge of my seat from T- 2:00 to when the two boosters landed. As an engineer that works on meaningless and uninspiring projects, its this kind of stuff that keeps me going!

  80. bobajob12 Bronze badge

    Seems timely to say this now

    In a country where science is routinely disparaged, mocked, ignored and denied:

    Science. It works, bitch.

    1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: Seems timely to say this now

      After Brexit we will live on poems, and renting out our many properties.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Seems timely to say this now

        "After Brexit we will live on poems, and renting out our many properties."

        After Brexit we will live on poemsNewspeak, and renting out our many properties.

        FTFY

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Seems timely to say this now

      bobajob12,

      "Science. It works, bitch."

      Should have had that written on the side of the Boosters in 3 foot high Letters !!!

      You have been upvoted :)

      I am a fan of 'Real' Engineering but I suppose there is some skill in creating Plastic Crap that dies 1 day after the Warranty runs out !!!

      Both require knowledge/skills but I know which one I would prefer to be working in !!! :)

  81. Hazmoid

    Speeding fine has been levied

    Our WA Police Facebook team are on point, already sent the camera fine for breaking the speed limit.

    Kudos to Elon and his team for making use of the most satirical of Scifi humour books in DNA HHGTTG.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Speeding fine has been levied

      He's got the LotusKludge over C? Fascinating ...

    2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: Speeding fine has been levied

      The speedo shows 0 mph.

      I think spaceX should have pegged it at the maximum.

  82. dol
    Pint

    Money where your mouth is

    Now that is putting your money where your mouth is. Well done Mr Musk and all your hard working engineers who have walked the talk. Big hats off to the headline writer, have a pint !

  83. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    "The car is completely exposed to the universe"

    So am I, and I'm only wearing a T-shirt.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "So am I, and I'm only wearing a T-shirt."

      Underneath our clothes - we are all naked.

  84. just another employee

    Car in space

    So - which one of you Uber users booked this car ?

  85. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Your god?

    Your god? Tell us more about your god? Can you tell me why you follow him?

  86. Dave 13

    Mixed success?

    Mixed success? I don't see it that way. There are *no* reusable orbital competitors at this point in time, maybe ever. The loss of the center core is pretty minor, in the scheme of things. SpaceX is so successful that Arianespace is cobbling together a FH clone of sorts. Imitation is absolutely the highest form of flattery..

  87. aqk
    Alien

    Does it have all-season tires?

    I hope the tires on this cherry-red roadster were sufficiently deflated for the vacuum they encountered in outr space.

    Or will they reasonably hold 32 psi plus that extra 15 PSI? Or will they explode?

    1. Col_Panek

      Re: Does it have all-season tires?

      People think vacuum is "infinite", like pressure can be infinite. But the tires would probably hold 47 PSI, although how long I dunno. And the ride would be pretty rough.

      1. onefang Silver badge

        Re: Does it have all-season tires?

        "People think vacuum is "infinite", like pressure can be infinite. But the tires would probably hold 47 PSI, although how long I dunno. And the ride would be pretty rough."

        Only if the Tesla gets really really close to those asteroids.

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