With the news that Elon Musk is set to launch paying customers into space, we have a series of rather pressing questions.
Again Elon Musk is set to touch himself by touching the face of God. Elon’s rocket-making company says it has signed the first paying passenger for a trip around the moon in its yet unbuilt rocket. While SpaceX is being rather mute on who actually paid said earth month to skirt the moon (until September 17), we have a series of questions to ask.
Cue that space reggae, boooyy!
1) What happened to that other lunar trip they announced?
Back in February 2017, back when the earth was fertile, and everyone wanted to leave it, Elon Musk announced that a pair of unknown dropped a “significant deposit” to fly around the moon on the way to the International Space Station. Before we could examine the plan, namely whether Elon would do the same as the usual tour schtick, and give the space tourists bugger all time to explore the destination, the whole thing fell into a limp heap after the company mentioned that the craft involved (the Falcon Heavy) was not entirely okayed to launch people. Ok.
SpaceX is unlikely to fly people until it meets its delayed obligations to carry those astronauts, perhaps as soon as April 2019.
Good going, Sputnik.
2) When will the BFR be done—wait, the what?
The spectral chariot for this mish, according to SpaceX is the BFR otherwise known as the Big Falcon Rocket, which sounds dangerously close to that everyone’s favourite demon mashing acronym of yore. The craft was touted in 2016 as the vehicle to cruise SpaceX’s mission of going to Mars, pimped in 2017 spaceship that could travel as far as a mystery planet called Shanghai.
Cost estimates range well past $200 million, and the rocket is unlikely to fly until 2022. SpaceX’s most successful vehicles (like that flying car) have been tailored to specific markets for satellite launch or transit to the ISS. Where are you going to fit this uber-rich douche in, Elon?
3) Why is SpaceX talking about this now?
SpaceX is racing to complete the aforementioned spacecraft to carry astronauts to the International Space Station, as well as fly out its extensive cargo manifest and build the BFR. But the last vehicle won’t be ready to fly for several years. So, why, Elon, why? Is it to forget about those memes you were good enough to grace us with? Or is it to pop the rocket squarely up the backside of NASA?
4) So who is Elon Ubering to Space?
The man himself may have given Twitter followers a clue when he tweeted a Japanese flag in response to questions about the passenger. So, dunno. Godzilla? Toshiro Mifune? They’re both emotional enough to drop much yen. The aforementioned aborted lunar “flight” came in at about $20-30 million dollars.
Hot take, I personally believe it’s one of those mumble rappers. It seems an on-brand fit for Elon’s company. Think about the history. The first man space with grills, hyper colour dreadlocks and face tattoos. The first soundcloud mixtape dropped on the moon. Man. The hype.
It’s an opportunity that only the insane or high will not grasp.
Laika. Yuri Gagarin. Xxx_Lil’ Syphilis. Heroes all.