legitimatebeef wrote: ↑
Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:25 pm
Sending a Tesla into space strikes me as a little crass. Every other object that people send up there generally has some specific science-oriented purpose. This seems more like an attempt to go viral on social media. I wondered why they couldn't outfit the car with a solar panel and a rechargable battery so it could keep broadcasting. Eh. Maybe you just have to be on the Elon Musk train to appreciate it all.
Well, this being a test flight, nobody would risk putting an actual useful payload on top of that rocket (and risk losing it with more than a 50% chance). Usually they just put some dead weight like tons of steel of something exciting like that. Instead, Musk and company decided to have some fun and create some excitement with the image of the (otherwise totally useless to him, first generation roadster) Musk's personal Tesla, outfitted with a mannequin wearing the same space suit that future astronauts aboard SpaceX rockets will wear (or derivatives of it). It was brilliant, IMHO. Btw, did you spot the little Tesla and little space man on the dashboard of the actual car? Cute!
As for not putting a panel or all that other stuff, they are not in the business of developing satellites, just rockets, capsules, etc... at SpaceX, cars and the like at Tesla, and you are right, solar panels and batteries at SolarCity (now part of Tesla), but perhaps that wouldn't have worked that easily without some significant R&D? The roadster was already a dead weight in Elon Musks's garage and the space suit was already demoed before, so it was a no brainer to put that together, and it captured the imagination of a lot of people, not to mention some banter on social media about it being the fastest car, etc...