Elon Musk’s SpaceX mission was far more than just a billionaire’s vanity project, it signaled a re-ignition of humanity’s exploration of space, asserts The Guardian in an Observer Editorial. While somewhat dramatic, the launching of a car into space marked a further step in space exploration technology. Significantly, SpaceX seeks to make space flight more affordable than ever. The fact that Musk’s rocket returned to Earth is also a strong development from past rockets that were left in the atmosphere to crash into the ocean. Musk is part of the shift of space travel’s promising transition from being government- to private-funded.
Elon Musk turned an achievement of humanity’s ingenuity into a celebration of himself and his car company, Tesla, argues Keith A. Spencer of Salon. His arrogance in sending such a heavy object into orbit is reflected in the immense cost of doing so: it likely cost dozens of millions of dollars. Instead, he could have included probes and other scientific objects that would have had actual use so high up in space. Still unclear among worried scientists is whether the car was properly sterilized, which it doesn’t seem to have been. If anything had gone wrong during the launch it could have contaminated parts of the solar system.