“It’s kind of silly and fun,” he conceded, “but silly and fun things are important.”
So said entrepreneur Elon Musk to BBC News after his company, SpaceX, sent a car into space as part of a rocket launch to test carrying a large payload into space. This orbiting car provides views out of the windscreen on YouTube live, as it journeys around our planet.
This is one of the greatest and most innovative PR stunts of all time. But it will no doubt produce commercial benefits for his company electric car maker Tesla and especially for SpaceX. They should now expect a huge order book as they have proven their ability to send objects into space.
But more importantly it means the ability to colonise the moon is closer than we think. If large objects can easily be delivered into space and reusable rockets become more reliable, the costs will decrease and within a few years we might have the ability to progressively start considering the moon as somewhere else to travel to, build on, use for storage and possibly to even live there.
There are many significant things with this launch but two of which link to what we have been learning recently in our humanity series at Christ Church.
We should celebrate the ability of those who work at SpaceX to achieve such a remarkable feat of engineering. This launch was hugely risky and could have easily gone wrong at launch. The rocket would have had millions of parts all cleverly linked together, perfectly in unison. If a part were slightly wrong the whole rocket would fail and not make it to space. Nobody seeing this remarkable car in space or looking on YouTube would imagine that something so sophisticated came about by chance.
Neither should we when we look at our amazing world, which God created by speaking (Genesis 1). We can marvel at the world he created where everything is designed to perfection (without the need for prototyping). All the parts small and large all the ways they fit together, our ecosystems, how we breath, how animals are incredibly complex in design all point us towards a world designed by a creator.
But there’s something else going on. We can see something of man’s desire to escape this world and find paradise elsewhere. Companies are desperately trying to send people and objects to space because there is a market of people looking for a better life.
If you had the opportunity to live in space would you take it? What would you want to escape from? Living on the moon has a claim to exclusivity but will be it fulfils our dream of being free from all the consequences of a fallen broken world.
When God made the world, it was all good. But Eve and then Adam chose to disobey God and as result the world and mankind are cursed (Genesis 3). Sin is not just a problem of this planet as it’s something in our hearts. We take our hearts everywhere, on earth and in space so we can’t escape it.
It’s exciting to explore and conquer the universe if we have the means, but more importantly take time to reflect on how temporary and disappointing life can be.
Rather than seeking to escape the world, see the importance of understanding it in all it’s beauty and brokenness. Learn how we can escape all the destroying consequences of living in a cursed world by knowing the man who made it all, Jesus Christ.
written by Tom Warburton