Skip to content
February 7, 2018 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Used: just a few meteor dents

Comic book cover, Space Adventure #1 (Charlton pub.1952/USPD., artist life/

Now thatza spicy meet ball.(USPD/

Look, it’s the Red planet. Maybe “red means stop” is universally understood…or they hope it is.

Is red rock Mars playing Keep Away or encouraging visitors (with a craterful of hope for urban renewal funding)?

There is something Andy Warhol-ish about a red Tesla Roadster going where no convertible has gone before.

Starman going to be a “must see” item for tourists traveling between Earth and Mars.

The trick now is getting space travelers to Mars in record time of 60-90 days at 111,000 miles per hour, rather than the estimated 9 months one way offered by current rockets.

VX-200 integration. This is rocket science (Image credit- all rights reserved by Ad Astra Rocket Co.)

VX-200 integration. This really is rocket science. And you thought space rocket builders couldn’t possibly use stuff from Home Depot.(credit: Ad Astra Rocket Co.)

And there’s a local scientist/astronaut doing that.

“The improbable journey of Franklin Chang Díaz, who immigrated to the U.S. at eighteen, became an astronaut, tied the record for most spaceflights, and now might hold the key to deep space travel….”

Read more and see pictures: “The Astronaut who might actually get us to Mars” 

man in front of space engine for rocket Franklin Chang Diaz. VASIMR inventor (credit- Copyright Ad Astra Rocket Company)

Astronaut and VASIMR inventor Franklin Chang Diaz gave up on NASA.(credit:Ad Astra Rocket Co.)

When he talks plasma, he’s not talking TVs.

Currently his company, Ad Astra (Latin: “to the stars”) Rocket Co., is operating out of a strip center warehouse not far from here – with multiple, big name, private space companies poised to snap his up if his success with plasma fueled rockets continues.

They laughed when Elon Musk started SpaceX, so don’t be too quick to count Franklin Díaz out.

Comic book cover. Rocket Ship X, (1951, Fox Feature Sindycate, USPD,, cr expired/

Another rocket ship X. Eerie foreshadowing or inspiration. Published by Fox. What can I say? (USPD/

This, however is no laughing matter: The dwindling of plutonium threatens deep space exploration.

NASA has only 35-36 lbs of the critical plutonium 238 left and projects have it all spoken for.

“Is the future of deep-space exploration at risk?” (SciTech Now video)

One little Rover is hoping its’ 2020 mission to Mars is still on track.

Can’t blame him. Anyone watching sibling Mars Rover Curiosity’s 5 year adventure (article with pictures) would be charged up.

(Those things are so darn cute.)

After years of Sci Fi novels, movies, and now SpaceX’s two of Falcon Heavy’s rocket boosters landing perfectly vertical on target just like Buck Rogers –  who couldn’t be charged up about traveling to Mars?

(Does it look a little like West Texas or Nevada to you? Squint a bit.)

Get ready, Red. Go, car, go.

Good heavens.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.




  1. Kate Crimmins / Feb 7 2018 8:02 am

    I wish him luck! (and they said immigration was all bad!)

    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 7 2018 8:17 am

      What a story. Amazing what you can do if you put mind and effort to it. (Can’t forget both the military arsenal and space program/NASA benefited from German immigrants quietly slipped in during/after WWII). Plasma driven space travel is so sci fi – maybe we’ll catch up to the writers’ imagination some day. Thanks for adding some cheer

      Liked by 1 person

  2. cindy knoke / Feb 7 2018 8:28 am

    I love him sending a tesla playing Space Oddity on the radio!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. easyweimaraner / Feb 7 2018 8:29 am

    wow I bet soon we can see Alf driving a tesla sports car ;O))

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 7 2018 9:21 am

      Hey, maybe it’s staking out Uber-type possibilities? Alf’s a star – he must have people and a driver!
      Thanks for being star struck

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ally Bean / Feb 7 2018 12:03 pm

    Talk of travel to Mars makes me think of Marvin the Martian from the Looney Tunes cartoons. This comment is, of course, not on point to what you’re sharing here, but I thought that you might like to know how my mind works.

    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 7 2018 1:53 pm

      Hilarious as Marvin was actually the first thing that ran across my thoughts watching those twin boosters land like on a movie set. Sometimes the world is better with Looney. Thanks for seeing Red.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Spinster / Feb 7 2018 12:44 pm

    Wow. What an adventure if this takes off. Are they taking passengers? If so, sign me up. Kinda sick & tired of Earth.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 7 2018 2:15 pm

      That is the eventual plan…he’s an astronaut and knows how amazing space is. Big companies are chatting with him. Quietly, some NASA people are saying they think his concept will be the one to fly. At 67 he’s realistic that he might not be the one to take that first ride – but he hopes so…I found his thoughts in the article intriguing:
      “…Franklin stares into the heavens plenty, but just as often, he looks around in the midst of a Houston traffic jam and questions whether we’ll be able to sustain a global population of ten billion people in the mid-century. “I think we’ll need to relax this a little bit by letting humanity move out,” he says. He imagines the Earth will become a protected area for humans, like a giant national park. “And we will always be able to come back to the beauty of the planet and preserve us, but probably not all of us will live here.”
      Thanks for joining the star gazing

      Liked by 1 person

      • Spinster / Feb 7 2018 2:29 pm

        Fascinating. Thanks so much for sharing.


  6. Carrie Rubin / Feb 7 2018 1:24 pm

    Visiting Mars would be intriguing not to mention amazing. But if all I can get is a one-way ticket, count me out. 😁


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 7 2018 2:11 pm

      In that case, Franklin is the one you want to sign up with. He’s the one who tugged through NASA bureaucracy with the concept of a smaller, lighter craft/landing module launching from a larger lunar orbiter to visit the moon and return. As a former astronaut, he’s big on returning to Earth. One of the problems he’s working with is to cut the travel time to and from Mars – currently astronauts would be exposed to about 2 years of cancer causing galactic rays.
      Driving by fast food chains and car parts stores, you’d never know of the scientific work that has the potential to change everything is going on in that strip center. (Wonder if Edison’s neighbors ever wondered what he was doing). It is very cool. Thanks for adding a dreamy comment

      Liked by 1 person

  7. colonialist / Feb 7 2018 1:52 pm

    A trip that would literally be out of this world, but not necessarily enjoyable.
    The sad thing is that if someone did stockpile plasma TVs and built a rocket which got to Mars, everyone would scream ‘Fake News’ and/or ‘Photoshopped Images’!
    If they even noticed, that is.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 7 2018 2:25 pm

      Even as those two booster rockets were making that incredible tandem ballet landing, some on twitter were yelling it was all fake. It did look like a sci fi film, but we are slowly catching up to writers’ imagination. Last night there were yells about the car not being in orbit/photo shopped and the earth really being flat.(And Franklin himself says part of the resistance to a new concept is the fear of nuclear power
      Can you guess which people I’d say leave off the invitation list for future trips? No need to drag down the gene pool.
      Thanks for coming aboard for a short flight

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Catherine Hamrick / Feb 7 2018 5:26 pm

    This is very cool! Love it!


  9. shoreacres / Feb 7 2018 7:31 pm

    Speaking of the flat-earthers, sometimes a little trawl through Twitter turns up a good catch. Check out this little exchange.

    I’d been following Musk and the Falcon Heavy news sort of casually, and somehow I’d missed that the payload was going to be that Tesla. When I came home from work and checked online to see what was up, I honestly thought that had to be fake. Even after I started reading various articles that affirmed I was seeing what I was seeing — I couldn’t believe it. Then I found out a copy of Hitchhiker’s Guide was aboard, and I saw that “Don’t Panic” sign on the dash, and… well…
    It’s just wonderful. I think all of us who grew up with the space program carry with us, to one degree or another, a sense that only the government can do such things. Not any more.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 8 2018 5:55 pm

      HA! Perfect response. (I knew when I saw the Rover panorama, some one was going to say “See – it’s all fake. It’s really West Texas or Nevada.Fake News!”)
      Can’t afford a SpaceX tour agency or meet Musk’s jobs’ requirements, but maybe if I got some Slurpies and hung out around that strip center….Darn, I’d volunteer…
      Watching that twin booster rocket landing was surreal – so sci fi film…maybe we’re catching up with writers’ imaginations. (How ironic is it that that comic book cover was published by Fox to that era? HAHA)
      On the steering wheel (or somewhere) the Tesla says “Made on Earth by Humans”. The car’s batteries were only good for 12 hours, so Starman is now being serenaded by the music of the orbs as it travels on “with Earth in the rearview mirror.” Cool. Jolt of excitement …yet how sad that few schools had that live for kids to watch…remember when they used to roll out those clunky BW tvs on AV rolling carts so students could experience history? Somewhere in a classroom is a future rocket engineer and some scientists (despite the schools doing little to kick start them)
      Thanks for flying in with a comment

      Liked by 1 person

      • shoreacres / Feb 8 2018 5:58 pm

        Don’t worry about the kids. They were hunkered down out of the teacher’s view with their iPhones cranked up. I DO remember those audio carts and the excitement when the rolled, though!


  10. Under the Oaks / Feb 8 2018 5:20 am

    Pretty dang interesting! I won’t be going on any trips to Mars because the one way thing kills it for me but my other issue is that I have wanted to go to Italy for a long time and I have always said that there is no way I am going unless I can drive there… 😉 A Tesla Roadster would be fun!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 8 2018 5:44 pm

      They are perfecting personal sized drone “Jetson’s”- type vehicles, so driving to Italy might actually be in your future….that’ll give them time to get the Mars excursions up and flying. Thanks for rocketing over with a comment

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Curt Mekemson / Feb 8 2018 4:54 pm

    Watched the rocket landing the other day and was taken back to watching Buck Rogers in the space operas of my youth. –Curt


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 8 2018 5:41 pm

      That twin landing was surreal – just like those movies. Hope more will be launching and returning safely soon! Thanks for adding a soaring comment

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Jay E. / Feb 9 2018 12:38 pm

    Don’t Panic, and remember your towel!

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 10 2018 10:10 am

      I love that Musk also put on the car “Made on Earth by Humans”. Creativity, what seems like whimsy, ignites minds and opens the future. Thanks for blasting by with a comment

      Liked by 1 person

  13. RKLikesReeses / Feb 9 2018 1:15 pm

    Wow!!!! That is SO COOL! Thank you for telling us about it. Franklin Diaz sounds amazing. I hope he does it!!
    The Tesla in space – brilliant. And the dual landing was beyond amazing. I cried a little. Joy and wistfulness.
    Just imagine where we could be, what we could be doing – as a species – if not for all the petty nonsense that drains our energy/resources


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 10 2018 10:08 am

      That tandem landing was so surreal – so Sat. afternoon matinee sci fi movie – it was thrilling. Some of us remember the joy.
      The difficult part is many now do not remember times before computers and before space travel was real. The excitement – the determination – the willingness to risk exploration has to be reignited. Life that is 100% safe and routine isn’t really life at all – just bare existence and a waste of time and talent.
      Your last sentence is what has to be shouted repeatedly. Onward. (or else we’ll sink)
      Thanks for flying along

      Liked by 1 person

  14. PiedType / Feb 9 2018 10:31 pm

    I think you have to have grown up during the space race, watching all those fabulous launches, and then seen them go away, in order to truly appreciate the magnitude and meaning of this flight. Those old familiar goosebumps and misty eyes returned. Hurray!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 10 2018 10:02 am

      You said it. No way to add anything to this perfect observation and your comment.
      Can’t stop smiling over it. Critical this excitement spread Thanks


  15. LordBeariOfBow / Feb 10 2018 1:44 pm

    111,000 miles per hour doesn’t seem fast enough, out there in space no friction anything is possible. I’d have thought build up to 11,100 miles per minute not beyond the dreams of the scientists, Hells bells the ‘Millennium Fighter” busted the time barrier, whatever that was/is.

    It’s a bit of a worry only having 16kgs of plutonium, ( I imagine that the scientists would use the metric) I have no doubts though that the smart cookies know how to produce more, probably just trying to get a bigger dollop of money from the government, who have better things to spend the money on like Air Force 1 for that chump in the Oval Office.

    I’d just wish they’d hurry up I’m not going to be hanging around here waiting forever,

    Hmmm wonder if they’d take my ashes and sprinkle them on the Martian surface, wouldn’t that be something and the WTG?


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: