Why It Says 'Don't Panic' on the Dashboard of the Car Elon Musk Just Shot toward Mars
The video of Elon Musk's 'Starman' floating in space is eerily beautiful and calm... Until you notice the 'Don't Panic' message on the dashboard.
Er, should we be panicking?
This week, the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket released a Tesla Roadster into space driven by a dummy in a spacesuit named Starman, after the David Bowie song. Because, science.
But one mystery remained: in the centre of the car's dashboard are the words 'Don't Panic'. Well, it turns out Mr Musk really enjoys his pop culture references - for this is another one.
Elon first read 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' as a teenager and in the series, the guide itself has 'Don't Panic' on its cover.
In a 2013 interview with Fresh Dialogues, the billionaire said the spaceship from the book was his favourite from science fiction.
"I read Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy which is quite positive I think and it highlighted an important point which is that a lot of times the question is harder than the answer.
And if you can properly phrase the question, then the answer is the easy part.
So, to the degree that we can better understand the universe, then we can better know what questions to ask.
Then whatever the question is that most approximates: what's the meaning of life? That's the question we can ultimately get closer to understanding."
People loved the idea.
Mr Musk also took to Instagram to reveal another clever hidden message for any extraterrestrial that might encounter the car.
The photo he shared shows the phrase "Made on Earth by humans" printed on the circuit board of a car in deep space.