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Tesla Roadster Plus SpaceX Thrusters Equals Rocket Car

Just how fast could a Tesla Roadster with SpaceX thrusters actually go? It looks like the addition of SpaceX cold-gas thrusters that will be hidden behind the car’s license plate could lower Roadster’s 0-60 mph time to just 1.1 seconds.

The following video provides exacting Technovelgy.com readers with the physics.


(The physics of Tesla's rocket-powered Roadster)

I don't know when the phrase "rocket car" entered science fiction, but actual prototype rocket cars were probably first.

In March 1927 another Austrian, Max Valier, convinced Fritz von Opel, manufacturer of Opel cars, to strap a rocket to the back of one of his racing cars. The test of the car, dubbed the Rak. 1 (from the German rakete for rocket) was a fizzer because the rocket was fighting against the friction of the car’s tyres. Valier later developed a more streamlined Rak. 2, which had 24 rockets and reached a top speed of 145m/h (238km/h).


(Fritz von Opel with his streamlined rocket-powered racing car, the Rak. 2)

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

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.”

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