Elon Musk’s personal Tesla Roadster loaded inside the spacious Falcon Heavy payload fairing, which will throw it into a Martian Transfer Orbit during this week’s demonstration launch.
On Tuesday, February 6th, during a launch window that opens at 1:30 PM and ends at 4:30 PM EST, SpaceX will attempt the maiden launch of its newest launch vehicle, the Falcon Heavy. As a demonstration flight, rather than a commercial or government satellite, it will instead launch a test payload consisting of CEO Elon Musk’s own Tesla electric roadster.
The historic significance of this launch will be lost on most, dismissed by cynics as just another corporation debuting a new product they hope to court the masses with. What a majority of people fail to realize is that not all rockets are created equal.
On January 7, Duncan Law-Green made our New Year very shiny when he tweeted us to let us know about a post on rocketeers.co.uk dated April 9, 2013. The topic was a fascinating piece of fan art done by artist Federico Melillo showing a fictional commercial spaceliner named Serenity atop one of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy Reusable rockets at Armstrong Field in Brownsville, Texas, waiting to be launched into the black on her maiden voyage. The artwork, which is titled “Serenity: Vehicle is in Startup,” was a commissioned piece, though the site did not say exactly who was responsible for its concept.
“Serenity: Vehicle is in Startup” by Federico Melillo (with special thanks to Duncan Law-Green and rocketeers.co.uk)
Although the fictional Serenity in Melillo’s artwork is a commercial spaceliner instead of a Dragon capsule, the fact remains that it demonstrates once again that there are individuals all around the world who want to see a manned spacecraft named after Joss Whedon’s fictional Firefly class transport ship. It is also interesting to note that, like those of us here at Take Back the Sky, the individual who commissioned the piece believes that it is SpaceX who will honor Mr. Whedon and Firefly in this way. As Mr. Law-Green said in his tweet: “Great minds think alike. :)” What remains, however, is the task of mobilizing great minds who think as one to act as one as well, in order to make the dream of a manned commercial spaceship named Serenity a reality.
If you count yourself among the “great minds” who think as we do, but you still haven’t contacted SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk to let him know that you want to see the next manned US spaceflight be in a spaceship named Serenity, there’s no time like the present to make it one of your New Year’s resolutions. Sign our online petition, and then write Mr. Musk a good, old-fashioned, pen-and-paper letter to let him know that there’d be no better name in the ‘verse for his first manned Dragon than Serenity. Everything you need to do that is just a click away on our Take Action page. And once you’re done, you should be sure to tell your friends who are Browncoats and space enthusiasts that they should do the same, and let them know how.
With perseverance and a little luck, we may very well see a scene very much like the fantasy painted by Federico Melillo play out for real in just a few years’ time!