Elon Musk has baffled the world once more, this time by appearing to use an expensive bit of SpaceX kit as a snack holder.
As well as his space manufacturing firm, he’s the CEO of Tesla, and as part of his duties for the electric car manufacturer Musk recently met up with the president of Indonesia to talk about the country’s strong nickel reserve.
The meeting seemed to go well, with Joko Widodo sharing an image of the pair together at the SpaceX headquarters looking rather happy.
But it was the serving of snacks that really grabbed people’s attention, with many fans convinced the pile of pastries were served on a piece of a Starship rocket’s heat shield.
Unless you’re versed in the world of spacecraft, you probably wouldn’t think twice about the shiny black platter.
A number of eagle-eyed fans were on hand, however, to highlight the resemblance between the serving plate and the hexagonal heat shield tiles that protect the SpaceX vehicle as it re-enters the Earth’s atmosphere.
“Peep the ceramic tile used for starships heat shield being used to hold danish’s @elonmusk,” wrote one commenter on Twitter, while another said, “Can I trade you some Dogecoins for a souvenir starship heat shield tile, to use as a coffee cup coaster?”
A third quipped: “I bet there’s a novelty market for TPS derived bakeware. These tiles probably cost less than a decent set of it too.”
This last statement is obviously an exaggeration for comedic effect – while Musk promises to keep the costs of his SpaceX aircraft to a minimum, they still cost tens of millions to launch.
“I think we need to get a large delivery to the surface of Mars, and then people will start thinking harder about it,” said Gwynne Shotwell in a recent interview with CNBC.
“I think within five or six years, people will see that that will be a real place to go.”
Shotwell’s statement echoes those made by Musk, who has repeatedly spoken out about his desire to colonise the Red Planet.
At the end of last year, the 50-year-old businessman took to the Lex Fridman podcast and said that ‘worst case’ would be 10 years and ‘best case’ would be five.