On February 6th, at around a quarter to four in the afternoon, SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket blasted off from Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center on its first test flight. It carried a cherry red Tesla Roadster as cargo. Strapped into the front seat, a mannequin dubbed Starman gripped the wheel. SpaceX streamed the launch over YouTube and Kennedy Space Center attracted the largest crowd to view a launch since the final Space Shuttle launch.
Rocket launches have become fairly routine as more and more companies launch satellites to expand global connectivity, but SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has brought spectacle back to the space race. We love Outer Space here at Penguin Random House. If you want to learn more about the people and the rockets that are pushing us further and further into the frontier, check out the titles below. What does it take to be an astronaut? How do you go about building a spaceship? Will orbiting hotels still serve a continental breakfast?
Elon Musk is also a well known fan of science fiction. If you pay close attention to Starman’s dashboard, he’s left a little Easter egg for fans of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Apparently, there is also a copy of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Series included on a 5D laser optical quartz storage device. I’m not sure how to attach a 5D, laser optical quartz storage device to my phone so I’ll just have my copy in paperback.