Yesterday, if you thought you saw a shooting star in the sky, you were wrong. Magic is over and science reigns supreme (in the sky anyway). What you saw was Elon Musk’s, a guy who for a long time I thought was a type of car, Falcon Heavy being launched into space. Falcon Heavy is the world’s most powerful rocket and was manufactured by Musk’s company, SpaceX. It can haul 64 tonnes. It is our new god.
Elon Musk tweeted on Tuesday that the rocket’s trajectory, “exceeded Mars orbit and kept going to the Asteroid Belt." It won’t pass by Mars for a couple more months but will do so on its elliptical orbit around the sun.
To demonstrate the sheer power of Falcon Heavy, in case the name didn’t already do so, the rocket hauled a Tesla car into space. About a year ago, Musk wrote that he wanted to launch the silliest thing he could think of with the rocket. So he chose...his own car. Now, he did, for some giggles, place a dummy in driver’s seat. But let’s be real, if the silliest thing Musk can think up is a dummy in a car, then the mad scientist needs to bring some more joy into his life.
Cars aren’t silly. Even the silliest car is still a functional and fundamentally practical machine. Silliness and necessity don't often overlap. Pogo sticks are silly. A dummy is sort of silly but seeing a dummy in a car just makes me think of car crashes, which are serious and not silly. I’ll say what everyone is afraid to say; Elon Musk has lost touch with his inner child, he’s made too much money, and doesn’t understand what passes for silly anymore. What’s even more insane is that this is a man who can imagine a future where private citizens regularly travel to space. He's probably already penned a deal with Jeff Bezos to open the first Amazon Locker on Jupiter's 57th moon. But he can’t deduce that even just putting a colorful wig on that dummy would've been a lot sillier than what he did.
Maybe he needs to take a quick break from hurling our society into the future and take like an improv class? That could really, ya know, expand the mind. He could do a Groupon for a dance lesson. Sometimes taking yourself out of your comfort zone can be fun and ignite your inner goof. Why am I so invested in Musk's silliness? Well, the chance that he is the first person aliens come into contact with feels high. If not him then one of his space cars he's driving around up there. I want them to know we are a lighthearted species and would be bad as their prisoners or servants. Or, if things go south, to know that we'd make fine jesters.
Musk's sense of humor could be the difference between us living for eternity under the ruthless rule of extraterrestrials or being their buddies at an eternal rave on Mars. For the next launch, might I suggest we add pink sparkly smoke that spools from the rocket. And it would be great if it could haul, like, an above ground pool, the world's largest zucchini, or if it has to be a car, at least a clown car. It's all about first impressions.