In reply to: The Symbolism of Elon Musk Sending a Car Into Space - The Atlantic
But this cargo does carry some meaning. It’s just not the kind we’re used to, because, until only a few years ago, the thought that a commercial company (not the government, not nasa) would lay claim to the business of sending stuff into the solar system—well, it seemed nearly impossible. It’s not anymore. The Tesla, in addition to adding some pizzazz to an otherwise technically complicated test flight, signals another milestone in a shifting spaceflight industry. Commercial companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin have taken up the work historically done by nations, and they’re doing a good—and cheaper—job of it. The days of sending romantic mementos like the Golden Record are dwindling, and an era of private individuals launching what they want is nigh. A little less sentimentality, and a little more spice. It’s ad astra, with emphasis on the ad.