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Burning Man In Space
By Zuerrnnovahh-Starr Livingstone
February 12, 2018
Burning Man In Space by ZS Livingstone (Feb. 12, 2018)
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The launch of the Falcon Heavy from Cape Canaveral in Florida last week was spectacular. The biggest rocket launched since the Apollo has pushed a cherry-red Tesla Roadster into a solar orbit with its furthest point from the sun somewhere in the asteroid belt. That is a big push. It was a test of the new rocket and the reuse of three Falcon Nine boosters. Witnesses of the launch state the return of two boosters to the cape was more amazing than the launch. The long awaited manned mission to Mars could happen as soon as year or two. Of course, there are many who believe that man is already on Mars, but Elon Musk’s rocket could force the disclosure of the artifacts on the moon, on Mars and other planetary bodies throughout the solar system. Plus it could reveal the Secret Space Program and advanced propulsion technologies that have been hidden from the public.
This launch was not the usual NASA production. The blast off was more like a Burning Man north of Reno, Nevada. It was performance art on a grand scale. The dummy payload included a dummy in a new model space suit called Spaceman sitting in the driver’s seat of the roadster. On the dashboard was bolted a Hot Wheels cherry-red model toy Tesla Roadster with a miniature Spaceman included.
Also onboard is an Arc facsimile, or digital copy designed to last in space for eons, of the “Foundation Trilogy” by Isaac Asimov. There are layers and layers of symbolism in play here. Plus there is a sign on the dash clearly visible to the video camera at the rear of the roadster exclaiming “Do Not Panic” for everyone to see. That sign may have been directed back at Elon Musk as he funded this test and had the most to lose -- but it could also be aimed elsewhere.
Asimov’s grand trilogy, which later expanded to six novels, also includes one of the key characters in another of his novels, “I Robot”. The plot has human civilization spread out through the galaxy with the seat of government on Trantor, population forty billion. But a social scientist named Sheldon sees signs of the civilization falling apart and comes up with a plan, “The Sheldon Plan”, to re-establish a republic ten thousand years in the future.
Asimov’s galaxy is similar to the Star Wars galaxy and the seat of the Galactic Republic is much like the description of Trantor. The keeper of the plan in the last chapters of novel six is an artificial intelligence with a positronic brain that has been programmed with the Three Laws of Robots preventing them from doing harm to people. It is an optimistic view of the human future.
Elon Musk has warned the public of the dangers of Artificial Intelligence, especially of A.I. used in military applications, yet according to his biography by Ashlee Vance, one of his favorite science fiction series of novels has an A.I. hero. Robin Williams played that A.I. in “I Robot” movie. Commander Data in “Star Trek The Next Generation” also having a positronic brain, leans heavily on Asimov’s hero. Definitely Elon Musk would not want a “Terminator” Skynet A.I., nor HAL in Arthur C. Clarke’s “2001 Space Odyssey”dictating the fate of humanity.
Thinking of Arthur C. Clarke and knowing that his ashes have been blasted into space, a “What If Scenario” popped into my mind after the Falcon Heavy launch.
What if Isaac Asimov’s bones or ashes are in the spacesuit of Starman?
In a sense, it would be a hero’s send off. The Vikings sent their dead kings and heroes to Valhalla in burning Dragon boats pushed out to sea. Elon Musk’s seven man capsule is called “Dragon”. Asimov’s signature series goes with him as an archive. The “Do Not Panic” sign on the dashboard also makes sense. Isaac Asimov was a reluctant traveler as he feared flying. He did his book tours by car and train. He did not like heights as the windows in his high rise Manhattan apartment were covered up. Asimov alive strapped to the top of a powerful rockets would have been beyond panic; he would have been in apoplexy. He would have been a furious man on a fiery rocket headed to Valhalla.
Available on Amazon:
Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance
More from ZS Livingstone
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