The world’s first act of interplanetary Grand Theft Auto occurred February 6, 2018, when a Tesla Roadster owned by Elon Musk was boosted into orbit by a space suit wearing dummy who reportedly goes by the alias “Starman”. Witnesses reported hearing the suspect play David Bowie’s ‘Life on Mars?’ before crossing into the silent vacuum of space, never to return.
No word has been given on any attempt to recover the stolen vehicle, but one question still remains:
Who said we wouldn’t have flying cars by 2018? Watch the entire launch below and see for yourself:
Joking aside, the successful SpaceX test heralds new possibilities in space exploration. Falcon Heavy now holds the title of being the most powerful rocket in the world by a factor of two. No small feat when you consider this capacity is greater than a loaded 737.
A return trip to the Moon or Mars crosses the minds of many because of this, but what about all those resource-laden rocks floating near Earth’s orbit? Speculation of a zero-gravity gold rush has some prospecting for more than just lunar souvenirs. Many of the same rare metals we use and mine today like platinum, rhodium, iridium, or palladium are soon becoming a rocket launch away for anyone able to figure out the details.
Of course, the details are far from resolved but that hasn’t deterred forward-thinking businesses and early bird investors from lining up for a shot into the stars. We already know how to land on comets, is asteroid mining that much of a stretch for us? Astronomers already estimate the number of mineable asteroids has drastically increased thanks to Falcon Heavy.
It’s as if these almost literal stepping stones in our solar system are waiting to help push humankind beyond the stars.
What a time to watch as these events unfold. Not because of Starman grand theft auto antics, but because it serves as a reminder that we all stand to benefit from collective human accomplishments. While the rest of us eagerly await what the future holds, (or continue to repeatedly claim the earth is flat) engineers at SpaceX are hard at work making it a reality.
Do you think asteroid mining could become the first trillion dollar industry? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to share this article if you enjoyed it!