LIVE WTF VIDEO: Starman Drives Tesla In Space

CNET reports:

The revolution is being televised, live from space. The below live video feed is coming direct from Elon Musk’s 2008 Tesla Roadster, which is currently somewhere high, high above us.

On Tuesday afternoon, Musk’s rocket company SpaceX successfully launched Falcon Heavy, the new most powerful rocket currently in use worldwide, from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The payload for the demonstration launch consists primarily of the Roadster, and a suited dummy named “Starman,” which is featured prominently in the feed.

After spending a few hours cruising the Van Allen radiation belts around Earth, the upper stage of Falcon Heavy is set to fire one last time before it detaches from the Roadster, sending it — and Starman — headed toward Mars.

  • Lazycrockett

    I just wish this was NASA.

    • Ninja0980

      Me too.

      • On the other hand–if it were NASA, that means Trump could have his nasty cheeto fingers all over it.

    • Chris Gardner

      The republicans have won the battle over privatization… for now. We will win the war.

  • JoeMyGod

    You might want to reverse the live feed to see some of the crazier shots.

  • Ninja0980

    Outer Space is an amazing thing isn’t it?

  • Pollos Hermanos

    He’d like to come and meet us
    But he thinks he’d blow our minds

  • JoeMyGod
    • Lumpy Gaga

      So fucking awesome. TY.

  • Pollos Hermanos

    You just know all that direct sunlight is going to totally ruin the interior of that car.

    • ScubaBearLA

      Indeed. Sunlight doesn’t get any more direct than that.

    • Friday’s_cat

      Armoralled the eff out of it?

  • Mike Solo

    The problem I have with Tesla is that I feel like I was lied to. I loved them when they first came out. Now that I’m an automotive engineer, and have spent time tearing them apart to see how they work in pursuit of our own electric cars… I can say that they are junk. I was crestfallen as I really liked them. But once you remove the best in the business drivetrain, they are utterly junk. Missing welds all over the place, incomplete welds, misaligned panels, poor electrical fittings, and I could go on and on.

    Biggest problem was when we had a 2017 Model S P100D shell, and torsion twisted it to see how stiff it is, and the B-pillar, where the doors attach to separated from the chassis. How that passed any crash test, I will never know.

    So while I applaud Musk for making everyone try to catch up with his vision, I find no substance behind his efforts, and am angry for having been deluded.

    • BeaverTales

      The problem these days is that there is more money in increasing quantity than quality. It’s the Ikea-ization of tech. Walmart became the wealthiest company in the world when it proved that Americans care far less about the quality of build than appearances and cost. You’re lucky that you’re educated enough to know better. Most of us aren’t aware we’ve been ripped off, until the repair bills start piling up.

      Nice-looking crap that basically falls apart if you breathe on it too hard is becoming the standard for most products, not just cars.

      • Mike Solo

        I’m watching the rocket video right now, and those twin boosters landing is so impressive, just hard to see how awesome the launch looks while knowing how bad the cars are… its tough for me! Hence why I have the gin out.

      • killreligion

        So true. A colleague was saying yesterday he bought his wife top of the line LG washer dryer “you know, the $700 models”

        I replied I’m remodeling a bathroom and plan to buy the 7k Miele set

        The masses accept garbage because they can afford a “better ” ligestyle. But their homes are trashy, crappy “art”, that awful no interest furniture (with little pockets to hold the remote!). It’s not the high life they think they are buying. IKEA decor is disgusting

        You get what you pay for!

    • TangierOrange

      ok. So you’re an engineer working for a competitor, reverse-engineering the car then saying that they are junk…

      I’m not an automotive engineer (I’m EE by degree) and have no opinion on the car (except to laff about the batteries and the self-driving mode).

      I feel like I was lied to as well. Many years ago, ME friends of mine say that a car can only be engineered to work for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, the models all fail. It’s been a long and bitter education, but I’ve come to cope with the disappointment.


    • killreligion

      Probayrelated to going real fast and not having the institutional infrastructure your big auto company had. I’ve assumed it was always about disruption and being acquired

      Imagine the synergy of his drive train and really amazing electrical control with the stability of a big auto engineering company

      Plus we could do with less of these wasteful stunts that put a bunch of plastic and heavy metals in orbit. I am saddened this silly stunt was so “awesome” to so many gullible people.

  • Cuberly Deux

    Psssshaw…’s been done….(kidding)

    • Killer fucking movie.

      (Ivan Reitman had a hand in it too.)

      • Cuberly Deux

        The third act especially. Has some pretty incredible music by Elmer Bernstein too.

        • Cool fact. Elmer Bernstein went on to do the music for Ghostbusters (directed by Reitman).

          • Cuberly Deux

            Yep…there’s even some licks from HM in the Ghostbusters soundtrack.

  • DrRobY

    Love the DON’T PANIC! on the monitor.

  • Coolest damned thing evah.

  • boobert

    That’s cool, but nothing can top those boosters landing side by side.

    • Cuberly Deux

      Mind . blown….that didn’t even look real…lol….like they just reversed a take-off or something.

    • sadoldguy


    • Nowhereman

      I agree. That was the most amazing thing to me, too. I haven’t heard if the big booster made it to the barge or not.

    • teeveedub

      I watched this live and my jaw literally dropped. It looked like a cheesy improbable ’50s sci-fi movie had come to life. It’s a remarkable accomplishment.

      • Marty Pavelka

        I reminded me of a 50’s sci-fi movie, too!

    • Marty Pavelka

      My partner and I got teary-eyed watching this. We both grew up with NASA’s space program (his dad once worked for NACA) and this got us right in the feels. I wonder if younger people, say in their 20’s or 30’s felt the same way.

  • JoeMyGod
  • Alas, word is the center core booster didn’t land successfully. No explanation at the moment as to why, but it could’ve been almost anything. It would in any case have been a high-speed landing on the drone ship.

  • Snarky

    Some days, this is a great country.

  • ceeenbee

    That has to set an auto speed record. They are going what, 17,000 MPH?

    • Treant

      Imagine the speeding ticket…and yep, 17,448 mph at a cloud-skimmer orbit.

      • Bad Tom

        “Catch me, copper!”

  • Love that slow lateral roll they have the 2nd stage doing.

    • The reflection of the Earth off the side of the car and Starman’s helmet… omg.

      • Rambie

        Wouldn’t it be freaking is Starman turned toward the camera and gave a thumbs up?

  • Todd20036

    Off topic but file under WHAT THE EVER LOVING FUCK
    Trump contacted the Pentagon. He wants a large scale military parade.
    For real.
    Like what In has and Putin has.

    He wants this abortion in DC, like that could even happen.

  • Tawreos

    I’m jealous. All I ever wanted was a smooth ride and the road all to myself.

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    Ok, I just had a Heavy Metal flashback. LOL

    • Mike Solo

      Thought the exact same thing… but I kinda like the SouthPark version a bit better

    • KnownDonorDad


  • DaddyRay

    Elon Musk’s Space Tesla Isn’t Going to Mars. It’s Going Somewhere More Important.

    Why the Roadster’s destination matters for the future of exploring the Red Planet.

    Musk’s vehicle won’t be going to Mars, or even orbit around Mars. In fact, it could be several million miles away from the Red Planet. Rather, this launch would put the car into the kind of orbital loop that brings it close to Mars and Earth over and over again.

    The Falcon Heavy launch would place the Roadster into a heliocentric orbit, meaning that like the planets and comets and so on, it will be orbiting the sun. More specifically, the Muskmobile will go into a type of heliocentric orbit called Trans-Mars injection, which it is the easiest and least energy-intensive way to move objects back and forth between Earth and Mars.

    At specific moments every two years, the conditions are right to fire up the spacecraft’s engines and slide from one orbit to the other. A future transportation network that supplies a Martian colony would benefit from this kind of scheduling. Think of Musk’s car like a city bus on a scheduled run through the solar system, slung this way and that to take advantage of the gravitational pull of the sun to make it easier to get into Earth or Martian orbits.

    • DaddyRay

      Science is so Sexy

    • Scott Carpenter

      The problem is, Musk’s car wasn’t designed for space. It’ll see temperature swings from about 65C to -250C. The battery will self-destruct in minutes. The electronics will fall apart within a week. The paint will crack and flake off, as will all the plastic panels (inside and out). And they so didn’t do a precision clean on that car. Foreign Object Debris big enough for the camera to spot is flying out in all directions.
      Still, Musk has sent his DNA to space. In his car. So frickin’ cool.

  • Post-launch presser to be here:

    • Starting soon-ish, looks like.

    • DaddyRay

      The chat is scrolling by so fast

      • I always turn that shit off.

    • Bad Tom

      “BFR design”

      Big Fucking Rocket.
      Go, Elon, Go!

    • Bad Tom

      Cost difference between a Falcon 9 and a Falcon Heavy is $60 mill vs $90 mill, even though Falcon Heavy has 3x capacity.

      Very interesting video. Thanks for posting.

    • Bad Tom

      Damn. I really like him.

  • RossPDX

    If a suited dummy was launched into space, there must be a vacant cabinet position.

  • JCF

    OK, the rocket was cool. But the car thing is just a billionaire w/ money to burn. Do.Not.Like. >:-/

    • It was a test flight. Had to be a test flight. If not something cool, it would’ve been a dummy non-functional payload, which is what it normally is.

      Do. Like.

      • Musk: “It was silly and fun. Normally they just launch a block of concrete.”

    • DaddyRay

      If it inspires a new generation of kids to space exploration then it was more than worth it

      • killreligion

        We should remember the mars interest is for people like the Kochs to exploit via mineral extraction

        But hey it’s a shiny object!

    • killreligion

      Can’t agree more. There are plenty who will eat this up so probably a good move for publicity. No one ever said the masses are smart.

      We’ve had to witness anti clean natural gas protesters drive to rallies in gasoline cars to block neighbors from switching from oil to natural gas heat and force electric generators to switch from gas to oil

      Humans can be pretty blind in their misplaced zeal.

  • According to Musk, the center core wasn’t recovered because there wasn’t enough fuel left to relight the engine for the final landing burn.

    It therefore experienced RUD by hitting the ocean at about 300mph.

    (RUD = Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly)

  • Lars Littlefield

    Am I the only person who keeps thinking, “Repo Man”?

    • Hard to say. The ‘Heavy Metal’ movie meme seems more common.

      • Bad Tom

        Just don’t look in the trunk.

  • TexasBoy

    It would be cool to have a CD playing Holiday Road on a continual loop with a mic on the camera just to prove sound wouldn’t carry in space. They could have named Starman “Clark Griswold”

    Hey kids, we might not make it to Wally World.

  • TexasBoy
    • Lars Littlefield

      That takes me back. I learned to drive in our family’s 1953 Ford pickup. The chain locks on the tailgate were a special feature. They made a reassuring chain banging noise as you rumbled down the road. We had lots of different trucks, but no one wanted the 53 Ford so I got it. I kept a kitchen broom slid down into one of the corner slots in the side of the bed and when I zipped down the road the broom would spin around attracting attention.

      • TexasBoy

        I know what you mean. My Grandpa had an old International pickup he used to go to work in the oil fields. Chain locks rattled, had a starter foot pedal. You had to pull up a floor mat to fill the brake fluid.

    • One of their technically weakest episodes ever.

      “Hey, we found this rusty truck floating in the vacuum of space and it had apparently been there for years and years and years… Oh gee, look, the engine starts right up!”

      As if all the gas and oil wouldn’t have evaporated… And the tires exploded.

      • Bad Tom

        And the various engine parts vacuum welded together.

      • Bad Tom

        Bet the battery would be no good. Ha!

        Both boiling away of the electrolyte and depletion of charge due to leakage current would be detrimental. Then there are the temperature extremes. DieHard never was tested in deep space.

        The only batteries known to last decades with no maintenance are thermal batteries, discovered by the Germans in WWII. They are inert until ignited, then the electrolytes liquify, and provide power. The downside is you can only use them once.

        They are used in atomic and hydrogen bombs. They help make such weapons reliable. Their downside is not a problem in this application.
        Googling thermal battery is unsatisfactory. My primary reference for this IIRC is Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety

        • They explained that one away by having the truck outfitted with a tiny fusion cell, which was what was powering a radio transmitter. Tom Paris supposedly used the cell to provide the electricity to start the truck.

          • Nunya D. Bidness

            Isn’t science FICTION awesome?

  • Natty Enquirer
  • DaddyRay
  • Takeaways:

    – Musk said if one core had to explode or be destroyed, it was the center one because the two side cores were equipped with the new special (and very expensive) titanium steering fins.

    – Center core was lost because it ran out of fuel and couldn’t fire the final time. It hit the ocean at about 300mph.

    – The side cores weren’t supposed to land exactly at the same moment, but it just happened that way. They didn’t implement the 15 second spacing they’d considered doing, but it was supposed to be a couple seconds apart.

    – “Starman” will broadcast for about 12 hours until the batteries run out.

    – Several Easter Eggs in the Tesla: ‘Don’t Panic’ on the car’s display. A Matchbox replica of Starman and the Tesla are glued to the dashboard. A circuit card in the car reads “Made on Earth by Humans.* And there’s a plaque included that has the names of all the SpaceX employees.

    – The Tesla itself is to be on a heliocentric orbit which happens to be a special Earth-Mars cycler orbit, which was basically the scheme used in the novel/film “The Martian,” in which a ship can potentially just keep traveling between Earth and Mars orbits with a transit time of six months.

    – The final 2nd stage firing and deployment is scheduled for later this evening.

    • When the view is directly from the front and the lighting is right, you can see the Matchbox replica car between the two round ventilation pods directly in the center bottom of the Tesla’s windscreen.

    • The spacesuit is actually a SpaceX-designed prototype. True, no environmental support is provided on it, but Musk said it’s capable of withstanding vacuum just fine.

    • clay

      So, the time of the Starman broadcast will include the 2nd stage burn?

      • I believe so. Honestly don’t know when exactly it’s scheduled though.

        They’ve some concerns that with such a long 2nd stage coast, there could be fuel freezing problems.

        • Bad Tom

          The video feed has ended, apparently before the 2nd stage burn. Bummer.

      • Guesstimating, about 10-10:15p Eastern.

    • Robincho

      Elon is spending his investors’ money. When he is not spending it lavishly, he is most decidedly spending it extravagantly. I hope they are all aware of this…

      • Bad Tom

        SpaceX is a privately held corporation. Musk put up a lot of the money himself. Given the spectacular success, of Falcon Heavy, I bet his investors are popping champagne corks now.

        Also, you seriously underestimate the value of a spectacular, popular, funny, very low cost advertising campaign.

        It was the cost of an automobile, plus the cameras and batteries and transmitters. That’s nothing.

        The point of this is that Musk has a rocket capable of lobbing serious cargoes to MARS.

        • Acronym Jim

          Cargo? Cargo where? Car go Mars.

          I’m so sorry for that.

      • That statement is incredibly full of Fail and Wrong.

      • kanehau

        Uhhhhhhh… good grief. No… just no.

      • Edmund Allin

        Re-usable boosters cut the cost of launching satellites dramatically. Even with the centre-booster fail, this is a major success, and I think investors should be quite happy. In any case, the people who invest in this sort of pie-in-the-sky venture have relatively very high risk appetite. Cosmos all round!

    • DanimalChgo

      There’s another Easter Egg also – a copy of Isaac Asimov’s “Foundation” series of books, in a laser digital archive form.

  • Brendan Denehy

    I’ve got this feed running on the TV, having my mind blown away.

  • sadoldguy

    Most expensive car commercial ever!

    • Bad Tom

      Pretty cheap Let’s colonize Mars! commercial.

  • easygoingmister

    Space Junk. The Romulans should blast it out of existence.

    • Bad Tom

      The Romulans are terrific fantasy.
      Elon Musk is real.

  • Kevin Perez

    New Headline Idea: “Autopilot drives a Tesla several million miles on one charge!”

  • JWC

    a few months Back the GOP expressed some interest in Mars Well Elon will take you up now RIGHT NOW if you want

  • DaddyRay
  • PROJECTED orbit will go nearly to Ceres. Which is about 2x as far as they thought they could launch the Tesla car. The car itself has just barely left Earth orbit. But here’s the important thing: Normally to get large payloads to the outer solar system or even to Mars, they’ll do slingshots around the inner planets to gain speed.

    This is a direct shot from Earth orbit to deep interplanetary space.

    • bzrd

      thanks Elon, you just got a huge tax break while I, along with so many others, just had our health insurance go up

      • Bad Tom

        Elon has created a potential way for humanity to survive by leaving Earth. And he did it with his own money.

        If he uses his tax break to further that, then Trump accidentally did something good.

        • killreligion

          Humans destroying earth and infesting mars to do the same is good?

          • Bad Tom

            Humanity dying out is the solution, then?
            Because that’s the choice.

          • killreligion

            Ridiculous. Endless population growth is only one choice we have.

            The solution likely will be the end of humans but that is not the only option.

          • Bad Tom

            I’m so glad it’s not up to you.

        • bzrd

          Well, he had plenty before the tax break. As everything is de-funded because there’s not enough in the kitty, medicare and social security will be on the chopping block no matter that we all paid into it. I have no desire to mess up another planet when man doesn’t care about the beautiful place he lives on now.

    • DaddyRay

      “Third burn successful. Exceeded Mars orbit and kept going to the Asteroid Belt.”

      Asteroid Belt – I hope he has collision insurance on that car

  • nipper
  • bzrd

    PANIC !

  • Spray on abs

    Skip to 3:00:12ish for a great view.

  • Girlgoon

    Some aliens will consider this a sure sign of declaration of interplanetary war and send bombs to obliterate the earth

    • TexasBoy

      They’ll use the Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator

  • Girlgoon

    Most teslas can’t go 200 miles before stopping to recharge

  • fuzzybits

    I’m glad I won’t be alive to see another planet ruined.

  • leastyebejudged

    A testament to excess and hubris !

  • killreligion

    Stupid human egos. Littering in space for a look at me publicity stunt

    What is in that car, it’s LI batteries etc? We will destroy our next frontier too.

    Great progress but tainted by this dumb stunt.

    • kanehau

      Uh… no. On test launches an equivalent payload is always put on board (or how else do you test the lifting power of your rocket)? Usually they just use concrete or iron/steel.

      In this case, he used his personal Roadster for the payload.

      I’m sure that any dangerous components have been removed first.

      Disclaimer: ex-NASA scientist.

  • drbrentzenobia

    No one would have believed, at the beginning of the 21st century, that Martian affairs were being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than a microbe’s. Yet, across the gulf of space on the planet Earth, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic regarded Mars with envious eyes, slowly and surely drawing their plans against us. Earth is more than 93 million miles from the sun, and for centuries it has been in the last stages of exhaustion.

  • bzrd

    conceptual art
    “The Astro-not”

  • Edmund Allin

    Great feed and info. But I wonder when Musk last slept?

  • Hunter M