It does, starting surprisingly enough with SpaceX founder Elon Musk.
“Test flights of new rockets usually contain mass simulators in the form of concrete or steel blocks. That seemed extremely boring.” Musk wrote on his Instagram on Dec. 22. “Of course, anything boring is terrible, especially companies, so we decided to send something unusual, something that made us feel. The payload will be an original Tesla Roadster, playing Space Oddity, on a billion year elliptic Mars orbit.”
For good measure, he also added a dummy named “Starman” in a spacesuit.
The billion years might be an exaggeration if the car happens to hit something, but the Mars orbit turned out to be an underestimate.
Third burn successful. Exceeded Mars orbit and kept going to the Asteroid Belt. pic.twitter.com/bKhRN73WHF— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 7, 2018
Musk even included a message for any aliens who might steal the pricey automobile.
But he wasn’t the only one to get in on the fun. You can’t just launch a sports car into space, with a spacesuit-clad dummy behind the wheel, and not expect the internet to make memes. People were quick to capitalize on a live feed of the car as it makes its historic journey.
Me when I say I’m five minutes away pic.twitter.com/IcL42swdf1— Jess Dweck (@TheDweck) February 7, 2018
Tried to tell my dad about #SpaceX , and he said I need to stop smoking pot— ChillBlinton (@David_beal5) February 7, 2018
And more of the same:
Perceptions of Elon Musk on launch day vs every other day of the year pic.twitter.com/zEtix2n2HE— zeddy (@Zeddary) February 6, 2018
It may seem lonely for “Starman” to be out there tooling around by himself in a shiny red sports car, but don’t feel too bad. There’s always the chance he’ll run into a few old friends.