Russia mocks Elon Musk, launches toy car with dummy onboard
Russia has launched a red-colored car into space in what looks like a mimicry of SpaceX's founder Elon Musk. Musk had launched his own cherry red Roadster during the historic first flight of Falcon Heavy, the most powerful rocket currently in operation. The move drew worldwide attention, and now, more than a year later, the Russians appear to be mocking it.
Just like SpaceX, the researchers from Russia's Tomsk State University launched a red-colored car. But, here's the thing, this wasn't a full-scale vehicle; it was a toy car, one that looked like a copy of the Zhiguli owned by Dmitry Rogozin, the Director-General of Russia's Roscosmos space agency. It took to the skies on an automatic stratostat, according to a The Moscow Times report.
The Roadster launched by SpaceX had a dummy named 'Starman' strapped to the drivers' seat. As this was a striking element of the launch (Starman's images from space went viral), the Russians imitated this too in their 'toy car' mockery. Their vehicle was strapped with a smiling dummy of Rogozin, according to the details of the launch.
Though the move from Russia looks like a clear dig at the Roadster launch, it is worth noting that their car didn't go a space journey. The vehicle took to the upper atmosphere, some 150 kilometers above Earth, flew there for about 16 hours, and then, returned back home. It landed some 2,000 kilometers away from the site of launch.
Having said that, Musk's Roadster continues to soar into the darkness of cosmos. The car, according to a dedicated tracking website, is more than 316 million kilometers away from Earth. It is flying toward our planet at a speed of over 22,000 kmph. But worry not, there is no chance it would do any harm to us.