Elon Musk Seeks To Create 1941 Heinlein Speedster

Elon Musk swears on a stack of Heinlein novels that his new Tesla Roadster will be equipped with rocket thrusters!


(Elon Musk Spacex Roadster tweet)

Here's a short video from Bosch showing a slide mitigation system, which is part of what Tesla wants to do:


(Bosch slide mitigation system)

In his 1941 classic Methuselah's Children, science fiction Grandmaster Robert Heinlein described a car with rocket boost - the Camden Speedster:

Had there been a bystander, he would have been startled to observe what appeared to be a standard Camden rise up off the ground as easily as a skycar. He would not have long to wonder - the car moved out over the lake, dropped down to the water and sank beneath it. Seventeen minutes later, the car rose up to the surface of a small pool of water, a pool that occupied much of the floor of an artificial cavern.

The Camden Speedster's rockets could also be used to boost for short distances over obstacles:

[Mary] peered out and studied the controlway. The flexosteel barrier separating them from the adjacent local control strip was about a hundred yards to their right but no changeover ramp broke its length for at least a mile — and that, naturally, was under the eye of its associated traffic tower.

She started the car again and zigzagged toward the barrier through the stopped or slowly moving traffic. As she neared the barrier the car surged and lifted, clearing its top by a negligible margin. She set it down rolling on the far side...

Lazarus finally let his jaw muscles relax and breathed out gustily. “Whew!” he sighed. “I hope we won’t have to do that again.”

She looked at him, grinning. “What’s the trouble? Do women drivers make you nervous?”

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