SpaceX’s immaculate reception last night gives Tesla Motors (and Tesla Energy) a brand boost that Big Auto would love to have, but never will. They’ve tried for decades to associate their cars with rockets and aircraft, especially during the space-happy 1950s and 60s. Space-age design, space-age materials, jet-inspired fins, turbine taillights, cockpit ergonomics.
Well, now we have a car company that actually does share engineering DNA with flying things, since the CEO is a real-life rocketeer who is taking us where no man has gone before. In this case, into repeat orbital rocketry, the first step to a Mars mission.
Where no man has gone before, eh? Sounds familiar. Along that theme, last night’s landing deserved a tweet from Bill Shatner or Leonard Nimoy. Instead, we heard from a Klingon, Jeff Bezos, whose “welcome to the club” tweet makes him and his phallic rocket resemble a possum’s pecker and a possum’s pecker, respectively. He is now dangling meat for social media piranha in his favorite South American river.
Meanwhile, in a New Jersey garage, FedEx trucks are likely dropping off rocket components addressed to Wile E. Geohot, and contractors are probably installing a power-opening skylight.
Is the human ego the real rocket fuel that will propel mankind to a better place? Seems so. Musk seems to thrive on spats with other alpha engineers, journalists and car company chiefs. If toxic tweets end up improving our cars and getting us to Mars, so be they!
Anyway, back to the car/rocket overlap. Here are some erstwhile space-age cars, not including the Batmobile or Jetsons car. TeslaMondo avoids the obvious.