Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

The SpaceX Falcon Heavy Launch

Posted by Rampant Coyote on February 7, 2018

Apparently, I’m just as much a sucker for awesome PR stunts as anybody else. I wasn’t paying too much attention beforehand to the Falcon Heavy launch by SpaceX. But I caught the tail end of the launch itself, and… wow. Just wow.

The Apollo-era launch pad. “Don’t Panic.” David Bowie. A sports car in orbit… now speeding off in an orbit around the sun that will not only get it to Mars (well, in the same orbital range as Mars), but actually out to the asteroid belt. And it will stay circling that sun in an orbit taking it from Earth to the belt for a billion years. I guess that’s one way to create a monument.

The only thing that was missing was them playing Riggs’ “Radar Rider” during live video feed while it was in orbit around the Earth. But then, that might be a pretty obscure reference for most people.

For me, the coolest part by far was the landing of the two side boosters. This was right out of a science fiction movie. My first impression was, “The CGI is too perfect here, it doesn’t look real.” Amazing stuff. This is the stuff I used to read about in science fiction novels as a kid, or watch in the cheesy old B-grade Sci-Fi films. And now it’s just going to be how it is done. So fricking awesome. Sure, it’s been awesome before, but seeing two of them doing it at the same time kind of blew my mind.

Seriously, I watched this part live, and I felt like I was a little kid again, watching the footage of the first Space Shuttle launch. My mouth was hanging open in awe. I didn’t realize that could actually happen, at least not to me. I thought that was more of an affectation used by actors. But apparently, it’s a thing that can happen. I now know this.

And the whole launch surprised me by how much it impacted me. Yes, a lot of it is Elon Musk and Space X deliberately pulling PR stunts to get people excited about space travel (and willing to put money into it). I guess I’m a sucker for it. I felt inspired. Hopeful. A friend of mine mentioned how happy she was that her social media feed was, for a change, filled with talk about rockets and space travel.

We turned a frickin’ Tesla Roadster into a space ship that will fly to Mars – and beyond.  We’re landing rockets tail-first on pillars of flame. This really is beyond cool.

Filed Under: Geek Life - Comments: 3 Comments to Read

  • lakerz said,

    Along with the incredible gains in biotech and discovering the intricacies of the human body genome and DNA, I think aerospace engineering and space travel has to be the most incredible accomplishment of human kind. Truly mind blowing what is involved in doing all this. My father was involved in some of the Apollo missions through TRW, and he had some stories to tell. He even got a souvenir piece from the rocket ship that took off from earth, went to the moon and then landed back on earth as an extra thank you. Cool stuff.

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    Awesome to hear! I had a coworker whose father worked on the Apollo 13 mission, and was involved in the desperate effort to bring the astronauts home after the accident. It’s crazy thinking about what they had to do back then… with pretty much slide-rules and 32K computers back then, instead of the tech we have now. Remarkable stuff. It’s kinda fun living in the future. 🙂

  • Cuthalion said,

    Nice! That landing was crazy impressive.