Elon Musk's new plan involves a rocket and a party balloon



Elon Musk, the dreamer.

Image: Diego Donamaria / Contributor/Gettyimages

Guess what: Elon Musk has a new crazy idea. 

This time, thankfully, it doesn’t have to do anything with boring tunnels. The SpaceX CEO now wants to “bring rocket upper stage back from orbital velocity using a giant party balloon”.

Musk said this in a tweet late Sunday, and if it came from anyone else, we’d disregard it — heck, even Musk himself said that the idea sounds “crazy”. But Musk has a track record of following through and delivering on seemingly insane ideas, sometimes even turning them into successful business endeavours. 

Still we have lots of questions. What happens to a party balloon in the vacuum of space? How does it withstand the forces that happen during atmospheric re-entry? Can the balloon be shaped like an animal? Is this going to be the reverse of the balloon scene in Pixar’s Up?

Well, Musk has answers, but not answers we can understand. 

After all this, we’re still not sure whether this is going to work or even whether it can work — though something similar has been tried before. 

In any case, if Musk and SpaceX do follow through with this plan, we’re certain it will be glorious to watch. Also, can the balloon be red? Thanks. 

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