I don’t know about you, but philosophical questions like the purpose of life, the history of this universe, the existence of other galaxies, etc. have plagued me ever since I was an adolescent. Then I read Douglas Adams’ and he said, and I quote,
“The chances of finding out what’s really going on in the universe are so remote, the only thing to do is hang the sense of it and keep yourself occupied.”
So that’s what I did – kept myself occupied. Until yesterday.
South African-American inventor, the product architect of Tesla and CEO of SpaceX, Elon Musk, successfully launched the SpaceX Falcon Heavy Rocket on its maiden space voyage on February 6, 2018.
Hundreds and thousands of people watched the feat online and in person as the rocket took off in Cape Canaveral, Florida. By now, there is a cherry-red Roadster orbiting the Earth, on its way to Mars. With a dummy astronaut that Elon calls ‘Starman’.
Yes, I’ll wait while it all sinks in.
The animation video that Musk posted on his Twitter was a preview of how the actual launch would look like. And since the red Tesla is headed for the red planet Mars, it seems only fair that the old classic song “Life on Mars” by David Bowie was the background the score.
“Oh man, wonder if he’ll ever know, he’s in the best selling show, is there life on Mars?”
– David Bowie, Life On Mars
If you don’t want to watch the whole webcast, here’s a quick view of the rocket’s maiden launch in under a minute.
— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) February 7, 2018
If the classic song reference to make our hearts beat faster and swell with joy wasn’t enough, Musk even made sure to follow the rules of hitchhiking in space as laid out by sci-fi master – Douglas Adams. Rules, you ask? Well, yes. Two most important rule of being a hitchhiker:
- Don’t Panic.
- Carry a towel.
Elon Musk stayed true to the text of space travel, although written decades ago, holds true today. He shared a picture of the current view from the Roadster, taken by the cameras attached to the Tesla.
View from SpaceX Launch Control. Apparently, there is a car in orbit around Earth. pic.twitter.com/QljN2VnL1O
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 6, 2018
See the ‘Don’t Panic’ sticker on the dashboard? That’s following Rule #1. As for Rule #2, he confirmed the arrangement of a towel in the glove box back in December 2017. For those who don’t know, you can read about the importance of the towel here.
Needless to say, fans of both Adams and Bowie are losing their minds at the genius that is Elon Musk’s space Mars mission. Even the people who didn’t know the references were awed by the Tesla itself. Twitter was lit with their reactions and I’ll let you see it for yourself now.
1. Elon has already confirmed there is.
How do you know there isn't one? #AlwaysKnow
— Unicorn Intelligence Services, Inc. (@enuminous) February 6, 2018
2. British Astronaut Tim calls it the beginning of a new era. On that, we agree.
— Tim Peake (@astro_timpeake) February 6, 2018
3. Don’t we all?
— Darken @ So.Fla. (@DarkMoonBeyond) February 6, 2018
4. Even Buzz Aldrin congratulated the SpaceX team for the incredible feat.
— Buzz Aldrin (@TheRealBuzz) February 6, 2018
5. They will be unquestionably proud.
David Bowie and Douglas Adams in space in a red sports car – utterly perfect and surreal. Well done to the whole SpaceX team!
— Darrell (@zonkk_za) February 6, 2018
6. We have a saviour, guys!
@elonmusk, you are freaking amazing. I really needed something positive today and you certainly delivered.
I swear, you're going to save the world one day.
Thanks for persisting!
— Marcella Angeles (@SofyaAngelz) February 7, 2018
7. Couldn’t agree more.
Props for the "Don't Panic"
Douglas will be smiling somewhere out there!
— Graham Wood (@OracleGraham) February 7, 2018
Elon Musk has achieved an undeniably great feat. What makes it even better is that the sign he has on Roadster orbiting space. It says,
It doesn’t claim to be sent by his company, himself or any other person. It claims to be sent out there by ‘humans’. If that is not ingenious, I don’t know what is.
I think it’s a good time to be alive in a generation when SpaceX is making history. To conclude, I’d quote Dougals Adams again,
“There is a moment in every dawn when light floats, there is the possibility of magic. Creation holds its breath.”