SpaceX Falcon Heavy Launch Met in China With Cheers, Ads, Defensive Posturing

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1:56 AM HKT, Fri February 9, 2018 1 mins read

Elon Musk and his company SpaceX made headlines this week for the launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket, hurtling humanity one step closer toward the possibility of en masse space colonization.

This feat was met with admiration from SpaceX fans and #Muskbros across China, who turned “Falcon Heavy Maiden Flight” (重型猎鹰首飞) into a trending hashtag on Weibo:

This morning while we were still asleep, the most capable super rocket, Falcon Heavy, was successfully launched. More than 10 years of effort have bloomed at this moment. Elon Musk’s team also experienced failure and being questioned, but we should learn the spirit of never giving up and persisting. Take a look back at this exciting moment, with Starman’s breathtaking view of space. — @SharonSharonK

Earth launched a 1420-ton emotion into space. This is a historical day for humanity. — @王卯卯

Car service company Auto Mall posted some words of encouragement on their official Weibo account, along with an image featuring their logo and an inspirational phrase emblazoned on top of the already iconic photograph of the Starman in the driver’s seat of the droptop Tesla Roadster that sits aboard the Falcon Heavy:

Today, Musk is an idol. However, please do not forget that when he started PayPal, some said that the banks wouldn’t allow it. When SpaceX was founded, some people said that he was mentally ill. When he invested in Tesla, nobody believed that the electric car could move that fast… Now Falcon Heavy has launched, despite being questioned, ridiculed, and even cursed. In the face of all this, Musk chose to concentrate on preparing for seven years to make the impossible possible. — @易捷澳托猫

“Every single crazy dream is worth giving your all”

Other brands, like electrolyte drink Mai Dong (脉动), took advantage of the event and its hashtag for their own purposes:

If the fastest means of transport is SpaceX, then the fastest drink to get your energy back is Mai Dong?

The least civil response to have surfaced to Falcon Heavy’s launch came today from the China Internet Information Center, an “authorized government portal site to China” that was quick to point out the following:

China is developing a heavy-lift launch vehicle with a planned low Earth orbit (LEO) payload capacity of 140 tons, much higher than that of the Falcon Heavy whose launch on Tuesday captured world attention. “Preliminary progress has been made in technological research on the Long March-9, and official approval of the project is expected,” said Long Lehao, chief designer of launch vehicle series at the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology and vice chief designer of China’s first lunar exploration program.

Jeez, let Elon have his moment… and maybe don’t piss off a guy who has that many flamethrowers?

Cover image: Auto Mall (易捷澳托猫) Weibo

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