Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Three cheers for Elon Musk!

No, that's not Mr Musk at the wheel of the red Tesla roadster, but he is certainly taking a victory lap today. His company SpaceX has successfully launched the Falcon Heavy, the largest rocket to hoist a payload beyond the earth's atmosphere since the Saturn of half a century ago. And he did it with private money!

On Twitter (where else?), Mr Musk tells us that the Tesla roadster is heading for the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars.

The main rocket, alas, crashed upon landing back at Cape Canaveral yesterday. The two boosters however did gracefully return to their designated landing spot. That the rockets should be reusable is an important element of the Space X business plan.

I was curious as to where the names "Elon" and "Musk" come from, so I checked his biography online. He was born in South Africa, and his father has some Afrikaner (i.e. Dutch) in his background, while his mother is Canadian. What a triumph for merit-based immigration!


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