94 votes
Accepted

Is Starman in the Tesla Roadster a real human?

'Starman' is a mannequin (store dummy) wearing a real SpaceX developed space suit that was a qualification unit, used in designing the space suit for the Commercial Crew program. During the SpaceX ...
geoffc's user avatar
  • 79.4k
93 votes
Accepted

Can I drive Elon Musk's Tesla after it's been in space for 100 Years?

Making a car run when it's been stored on Earth for 10 years can be a challenge. Storing it in space makes things worse. All lubricants will have evaporated. Cold welding is a possibility. The ...
Hobbes's user avatar
  • 127k
67 votes

Why is the first launch of Falcon Heavy sending a car instead of something useful?

The very first start of a new rocket is a risky endeavour. Since the system is put to test for the very first time as a whole, all kind of things can go wrong and chances are that the rocket doesn't ...
DarkDust's user avatar
  • 12.5k
51 votes

Why is the first launch of Falcon Heavy sending a car instead of something useful?

Why not deliver something useful to the space station like a new living segment? Many, many reasons. A dummy payload is almost always used on the maiden flight of a new rocket. The risk of failure ...
David Hammen's user avatar
  • 73.8k
31 votes

Is Starman in the Tesla Roadster a real human?

I first need to know if starman is a real human or a robot. Starman is the name given to the mannequin/space suit occupying the driver's seat of the car. It is not human nor is it a robot. If he ...
Adam Davis's user avatar
  • 1,103
29 votes
Accepted

How can Elon Musk's Tesla actually reach Mars orbit?

I haven't been able to find any statements on the exact target orbit, but the general consensus is that the payload won't be in orbit around Mars, it will be in an eliptical orbit around the sun and '...
Bazul's user avatar
  • 406
29 votes

Can I drive Elon Musk's Tesla after it's been in space for 100 Years?

Let's look at some of the biggest stressors in the Tesla-Probe's lifetime- Launch- This will be a very stressful time. The car will be subject to around 3g for a few minutes, in a direction that it ...
PearsonArtPhoto's user avatar
  • 121k
18 votes
Accepted

Has any payload been as silly, as the Falcon Heavy's Tesla Roadster?

Update: February 24, 2018 The 'Disco Ball': Created by Rocket Lab founder and CEO Peter Beck, the Humanity Star is a geodesic sphere made from carbon fibre with 76 highly reflective panels. It spins ...
Rob's user avatar
  • 3,256
16 votes

Why is the first launch of Falcon Heavy sending a car instead of something useful?

When SpaceX launched the Falcon 1, it took them 4 times to successfully orbit the Earth. The most similar rocket to Falcon Heavy, in terms of the number of engines, the N1, made 4 attempts to reach ...
PearsonArtPhoto's user avatar
  • 121k
13 votes

Can I drive Elon Musk's Tesla after it's been in space for 100 Years?

Would you be able to just jump in the car and drive it? No. Would you be able to get it roadworthy again with a little work? Maybe. The state of the car itself will come down to how well protected it ...
motosubatsu's user avatar
12 votes

How can Elon Musk's Tesla actually reach Mars orbit?

It can't reach Mars Orbit. That would require some kind of a long stable rocket fuel on board, and the ability to separate from the second stage, none of which appear to be the case in the rocket. Not ...
PearsonArtPhoto's user avatar
  • 121k
10 votes
Accepted

Is New Shepard an orbit-capable first stage? Could an (albeit small) 2nd stage with propulsion be put on top that could put a smallsat into orbit?

I think we can all agree that the crux of this question is in the New Shepard specifications, feel free to offer improvements to these. Here are the ones I arrived at (note: there is no recovery of ...
BrendanLuke15's user avatar
7 votes

Interplanetary secondary payload

Based on clarifying comments by the author of the question, the answer to the question is "no". There have not yet been any secondary interplanetary payloads that are not associated at all ...
David Hammen's user avatar
  • 73.8k
7 votes

Can I drive Elon Musk's Tesla after it's been in space for 100 Years?

In addition to all the structural and electrical perspectives, there is also the possiblity of the firmware in the ECUs being corrupted due to cosmic rays. The automobile is definitely certified for ...
A Father's user avatar
6 votes

Can I drive Elon Musk's Tesla after it's been in space for 100 Years?

Nope. Silicon has a mortal enemy: radiation. Space has a lot of radiation, including charged nuclear particles coming off the sun. The computers, motor controllers, heads-up display, autopilot, and ...
EngrStudent's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Starman's Tesla prelaunch preparation

Elon Musk gave a press conference where he talks about a lot of things, this being one of them. According to him the car has not been modified in any way. The full press conference can be seen here, ...
Boris Deletic's user avatar
5 votes

Why is the first launch of Falcon Heavy sending a car instead of something useful?

Given the points made in the other answers (that any payload on the first launch is at high risk of loss), it seems to me there's still something useful you could do lift on a test-launch like this: ...
Peter Cordes's user avatar
5 votes

Why is the first launch of Falcon Heavy sending a car instead of something useful?

There was something useful... A commercial in the superbowl cost 5 million for 30 seconds! How much advertisement has Elon Musk just gotten for the Tesla Roadster brand? $250,000 for days and hours ...
Steve's user avatar
  • 61
5 votes

Has any payload been as silly, as the Falcon Heavy's Tesla Roadster?

Samantha Cristoforetti in a Star Trek uniform in the Cupola of the ISS definitely is up there in my book, but no, I think it's fair to say that the Tesla Roadster is the most gloriously silly thing to ...
Ruadhan2300's user avatar
4 votes

How can Elon Musk's Tesla actually reach Mars orbit?

It will be in an elliptical Heliocentric orbit with a perihelion at the Earth's distance from the sun, and an aphelion at Mars' distance from the sun. But it shouldn't get close enough to either ...
Bill Carton's user avatar
1 vote

Why is the first launch of Falcon Heavy sending a car instead of something useful?

The payload is immensely useful. As noted by others, a traditionally "useful" payload costs a very large amount to provide, the risk is high, and the ISS is not an available option at this stage. ...
Russell McMahon's user avatar

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