Author Topic: My issue with Musk sending a Tesla into space  (Read 2163 times)

My issue with Musk sending a Tesla into space
« on: February 10, 2018, 01:15:08 AM »
I’ve always been a big fan of magnetic levitation trains in vacuum tubes like the Virgin hyperloop. This project is inspiring. It could bring the globe together and better the lives of everyone on the planet. The concept is from Musk and it’s awesome on many different levels, but he’s not backing that horse. He wants to go to space, but rather than working with the maglev technology of a Startram he’s trying to re-invent the wheel with fossil fuel based rockets. To add insult to injury for his first package into space he sent a Tesla as a publicity stunt. I share the sadness for the waste of an opportunity for research and advancement that this represents.
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And it’s not like Musk isn’t renewable energy conscious. His solar collecting shingles are very nice, and pretty cool. Even if I’m his Powerwall is un-inspiring it’s at least an attempt to move away from fossil fuels.

Now I tried to think positively about this. I tried to convince myself that this is just advertising, and it’s working. I should admit that a lot of people are talking about it. I’ll also admit that as this was the maiden voyage so as Musk said, “there is a good chance this monster rocket blows up”, but the whole thing just seems like such a waste to me. He could have easily sent up expendable experiments, or I’m sure he could have gotten some investors to take a risk with a contingency that if the rocket blew up they wouldn’t have to pay for the trip, but if it was successful they had to pay him and he could have recouped some much-needed capital on his passion project.

I get the infatuation with space, but it just seems like to me that he’s throwing reason out the window in pursue of his dreams.
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Offline SGOS

Re: My issue with Musk sending a Tesla into space
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2018, 04:52:29 AM »
It does seem like a flamboyant extravaganza of self promotion.  There are others; Donald Trump, Pat Robertson, Mohamed Ali.  Musk is the smartest of them, but he does like the lime-light, and there is no shortage of ego there.  I wouldn't call his actions in poor taste, because I'm not sure what his purpose even is, but there is an element of craziness in it.  It's like a rich guy flying his private jet to Paris for lunch.  It serves no dietary purpose that can't be served more efficiently by simpler means.  This is the way the rich get attention.  Poor people are lucky to get a small role in a Jack Ass movie, or find themselves on the Jerry Springer Show.  Yes, the money could be more wisely spent, but that is not the objective here.

In the end, I don't have any particular nagging feelings about this one way or the other.  We live in a crazy world, and there are a lot more crazy things going on all around us, and we even participate in some of them.  And the big kicker is that if I wanted to stop Elon Musk from behaving this way, I wouldn't have a snowball's chance of influencing him one way or the other.

Re: My issue with Musk sending a Tesla into space
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2018, 05:09:11 AM »
Robert Goddard developed the idea of "dummy payloads" when testing rockets. NASA uses it routinely. The Ariane rocket used the concept. Musk just used a used car.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Offline SGOS

Re: My issue with Musk sending a Tesla into space
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2018, 05:26:47 AM »
Don't we already have enough junk floating around in space?  Now they want to start sending old car bodies up there?  I'm picturing the Guardians of the Galaxy quietly drifting through a debris field that includes rusty cars and discarded refrigerators, a space junk yard open to salvaging, but a part of space where we can keep all the junk in one place.

Re: My issue with Musk sending a Tesla into space
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2018, 05:33:05 AM »
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Don't we already have enough junk floating around in space?  Now they want to start sending old car bodies up there?  I'm picturing the Guardians of the Galaxy quietly drifting through a debris field that includes rusty cars and discarded refrigerators, a space junk yard open to salvaging, but a part of space where we can keep all the junk in one place.
Whatever was in the capsule would be  up there "forever". You can't test if a rocket will lift a payload of X tons unless you test it with a payload of X tons.

And if you would compare the amount of junk we've put up there with the amount already in the solar system you'd be enlightened. There is an issue with junk in Near Earth Orbit (NEO) but the Tesla wasn't hanging around, it was heading for Mars orbit, hopefully.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Re: My issue with Musk sending a Tesla into space
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2018, 06:04:43 AM »
Hey, if you know how to put a drydock up in orbit just using maglev technology then I'm all ears!
Winner of WitchSabrinas Best Advice Award 2012


We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real
tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. -Plato

Re: My issue with Musk sending a Tesla into space
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2018, 06:06:26 AM »
My Favorite Technology™
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Online Baruch

Re: My issue with Musk sending a Tesla into space
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2018, 07:44:06 AM »
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Whatever was in the capsule would be  up there "forever". You can't test if a rocket will lift a payload of X tons unless you test it with a payload of X tons.

And if you would compare the amount of junk we've put up there with the amount already in the solar system you'd be enlightened. There is an issue with junk in Near Earth Orbit (NEO) but the Tesla wasn't hanging around, it was heading for Mars orbit, hopefully.

Not true.  Any orbital payload can be designed to be safely de-orbited.  If not, it is money talking.

Elon is Deep State.  They wouldn't let him attempt to launch a spy satellite, if he wasn't.  And he is too big to fail, so he will continue to get additional payloads to launch, even given failures.  Think Lehman Brothers.

I have a friend, working on Orion, the next manned project by Nasa.  A real organization.
שלום

Re: My issue with Musk sending a Tesla into space
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2018, 08:00:00 AM »
As usual, you didn't read my post.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Online Hydra009

Re: My issue with Musk sending a Tesla into space
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2018, 10:00:11 AM »
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Don't we already have enough junk floating around in space?  Now they want to start sending old car bodies up there?  I'm picturing the Guardians of the Galaxy quietly drifting through a debris field that includes rusty cars and discarded refrigerators, a space junk yard open to salvaging, but a part of space where we can keep all the junk in one place.
Almost all space junk orbits the Earth.  And yes, that's a problem because our new satellites are sometimes hit with debris from the old satellites.

But the Tesla has cleared Earth orbit (the prime collision hazard location) and is You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login, headed for Mars and perhaps reaching as far as the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.  The chance that the car will hit anything we would care about is literally astronomical.

Online Baruch

Re: My issue with Musk sending a Tesla into space
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2018, 10:14:57 AM »
That may be one of the few times Elon has shown some responsibility.  Not common among the Elite.
שלום

Re: My issue with Musk sending a Tesla into space
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2018, 10:29:13 AM »
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That may be one of the few times Elon has shown some responsibility.  Not common among the Elite.
"I got a used car to Mars! I can get YOU to Mars!"
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Offline Johan

Re: My issue with Musk sending a Tesla into space
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2018, 12:47:20 PM »
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He wants to go to space, but rather than working with the maglev technology of a Startram he’s trying to re-invent the wheel with fossil fuel based rockets. To add insult to injury for his first package into space he sent a Tesla as a publicity stunt. I share the sadness for the waste of an opportunity for research and advancement that this represents.

Warning: Long post.

Many years ago I attended a talk by Burt Rutan while at an aviation convention. Look him up if you don't know who he is. Burt and his sideburns spoke for the better part of an hour and half. He started by talking about how the Wright flyer that flew in 1903 doesn't look much at all like the airplanes we have today. The Wright flyer is really sort of proof of concept machine and nothing more. It could fly short distances and carry one passenger at most. But it really didn't have much utility beyond that and never would. The design just didn't allow for the kind of utility that would be needed if any kind of aviation industry was ever going to happen.

So fast forward 20 years and lots of aircraft design innovations happened which collectively led us to the default aircraft design we still use today. Almost none of those design innovations happened at the hands of the Wright brothers. Instead they happened at the hands of countless individuals who had looked at what the Wright's had achieved and said if they can do it, maybe I can do it better. In those early years, aircraft companies sprung up in garages and back yards all over the country. Lots design ideas were tried. Some worked well, others failed miserably. But all those different individuals trying all those ideas are what led to the design innovations which allowed a commercial aviation industry to be born and begin to grow. IOW it wasn't the Wrights who gave us commercial aviation, it was all those other folks who decided to try their hand at the game and see what improvements they could make.

Burt's talk then shifted to the 1950's and 1960's and the space race. He talked about how NASA showed us that rockets could be built that could get us into space and get us back. But unlike the early 1900's there was no revolution which followed with people deciding to see what kind of rocket they could build in their back yard. There was no movement of private individuals and companies deciding to try their hand at space travel and trying to figure out what innovations could be found to make it more practical and affordable.

That never happened with space travel the way it did with air travel. But imagine if it did. Where would be today if hundreds of startups had appeared in the late 60's all trying to make their own space vehicle designs. Its easy to imagine that had that happened, getting into space would be much more affordable and accessible today.

So if Elon wants to try to light that spark by putting one of his cars in space, let him. Its an early first step in getting us to a place where private space vehicle companies are innovating and moving the needle slowly closer to a world where space travel is as common as getting on bus.

Could he have done it differently and loaded the thing with experiments? Sure. But guaranteed he would have gotten 1/10 the amount of press coverage. So put experiments on board and maybe this flight leads to one or two more flights. Or make it a press event like he did and this flight leads to ten or twenty more. Which is better? Elon is a big picture guy and he hasn't failed much so far. There are certainly worse horses you could bet on.
Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false and by the rulers as useful

Re: My issue with Musk sending a Tesla into space
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2018, 01:02:33 PM »
I'm reminded of "The Man Who Sold The Moon", by Heinlein.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Re: My issue with Musk sending a Tesla into space
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2018, 02:57:00 PM »
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Robert Goddard developed the idea of "dummy payloads" when testing rockets. NASA uses it routinely. The Ariane rocket used the concept. Musk just used a used car.

I disagree with that method. It would be easy to send up expendable experiments that created the useable weight, and I'm sure people would freely accept the risk of it blowing up.
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