Cars in space and how technology can help bring us to Mars

CEO of Tesla and SpaceX Elon Musk launched one of his Tesla automobiles into space, complete with the message “Don’t panic!” stamped onto the car and the music of David Bowie playing. The lavish and almost surreal feat was accomplished with a $100,000 Tesla Roadster—a car that will now be floating in space for millions of years.

SpaceX’s rocket Falcon Heavy brought the Tesla into space this week, launching from Florida’s Cape Canaveral. The company’s own $500 million funds helped bring the car into the stratosphere. While part of the rocket core broke apart, the Falcon Heavy showed that it could propel big things into space. The Guardian writes that Musk’s company is now at the forefront of the space race, and has definitely pushed Tesla and SpaceX to the top of everyone’s mind.

The Roadster, if it doesn’t crash into a planet—will likely get close to Mars. Musk has been outspoken about his desire to go to the red planet, wanting to be a part of a spacefaring civilization that may one day travel to Mars.

Mars is a top destination for NASA as well. Rocket scientist Adam Steltzner speaks in a Cisco video about his passion for designing spacecraft. Steltzner talks about the use of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and analytics to explore Mars without even having been there just yet. Data, computer simulation and hand calculations help those at NASA to check out the planet and predict what might happen there in the future.

Senior Vice President of Cisco Services Joe Cozzolino says that Cisco is employing technology like AI and machine learning to help organizations like NASA figure out their problems before they happen. Customers can even predict a potentially damaging network outage.

The company is passionate about Mars in another way as well. The Mars Network Challenge is Cisco’s online game for engineers to build a digital presence on Mars, using the company’s intent-based network to defend Martian bases across 20 levels. Give the game a try here.