Chasing Elon Musk in an old French car
On February 6, 2018, SpaceX, one of the companies owned by Elon Musk, launched the first Falcon Heavy. A giant leap for mankind, like Neil Armstrong would have said, because with this rocket, manned missions to the Moon (once again) and to Mars become possible. And those missions also become a lot cheaper than before, because large parts of the rocket return to Earth and can therefore be used again.
On such a first test flight you don’t take expensive satellites. Usually a block of concrete is used as ballast, but Elon had a better idea: he sent his car. A Tesla Roadster, made by one of his other companies, with David Bowie on the speakers and The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy in the dashboardlocker. It resulted in stunningly surreal images.
Meanwhile in the Netherlands
Dutch media were so busy reporting about who exactly said what about whom, that they let the historic event pass almost unnoticed. Reportedly, a number of media used the excuse that they did not want to cooperate with a publicity stunt from Tesla.
Remarkably, popular magazine RTL Boulevard (showbiz! lifestyle! crime! and royalty!) showed the clearest signs of awareness that something special had happened: the show opened with it, and they brought a quite decent item, the light-hearted tone of the program taken into consideration.
National newspaper De Volkskrant, however, spent not more than 50 words on page 4 on the successful test flight. And two days later they spent even more words on a few sour readers’ cynical comments (megalomaniac bruiser! waste! pollution! stupidity!) But what can you expect of a newspaper that once wrote that Jupiter is the largest planet in the universe?
History in the making
Well, mark my words, in a hundred years time it will be obvious that in 2018 a modest Rotterdam image blog in 2018 had a better understanding of history in the making than all the big Dutch newspapers and television programs. I fear though that by that time this blog will no longer be regularly updated.
And while I was annoyed by the the Dutch media’s navel-gazing, I spent my time well by making this little piece of space art shown above. Because if Elon Musk can send his Tesla into space, I can do the same with a rusty old Citroën Deux Chevaux. Starman being chased by L’homme des étoiles. With Michel Fugain’s Une Belle Histoire on the speakers and a few baguettes, French cheeses and a bottle of wine in the backseat. Du pain, du vin, du Citroën!