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The Tesla in orbit is a publicity stunt - you need a heavy unimportant payload for the first flight of a rocket, to test. You don't wanna lose the rocket, and lose a client's multi-billion science project, and no insurance company will go near you if you're planning it. Rocket companies generally send up something unimportant - the Saturn V's maiden voyage, Apollo IV, took with it a fake Lunar Module, the LTA-10R. In sending a Tesla into orbit, Musk has expertly crafted a giant hype machine that anyone interested in space ex, science, nerd culture, and even automobile techs, are all part of.
I mean, just watch the launch broadcast. It's a professional spectacle.
Here it enters the philosophical, though. Do we need to send something to Mars? In my opinion, yes.
Human longevity will outlast the Earth's ability to nurture it, and we will need to migrate, as a species, to another world, or - much more difficultly - to a flotilla. It is instrumental to the survival of our species that we get experience in setting up off-world colonies, exploring legality, funding expeditions, and the like. In doing so, we might cut a couple thousand years off Earth's ability to sustain our life, but we'll gain billions, so that's that. Life on Earth will continue after us, likely until the energy of the Sun runs out - we'll find it hard to change that on our own.
Last Visit: 6-Dec-19 15:22 Last Update: 6-Dec-19 15:22