Hooniverse Asks- What Car Would You Shoot into Orbit?

A few years back on Top Gear, Hammond and Mays attempted to launch and return to Earth a Reliant Robin – a herculean task if there ever was one. Of course, as anyone who has seen that episode knows, they nixed the idea of putting Clarkson in the death chair pilot’s seat, choosing  instead to guide it back remotely.
That in hindsight may have been the prudent choice as the Robin failed to separate from its rocket lifters and augured into the English moors like a caffeinated gopher. Bad result, but good TV. As our – occasionally equally unsuccessful – Shuttle program winds down, I got to thinking, what car sold in the U.S. today would make for the perfect sub-orbital NASA replacement?
It’d have to be aerodynamic. It’d have to be reasonably light. And most importantly, it would have to look good. That was where the Brits made their fatal mistake, and whether it was budget-driven, or because they actually thought it would fly, the Reliant proved not only as sky worthy as a road paver, but also less than spectacular as a sacrificial lamb. No one felt any pangs of sorrow when it became one with the English countryside.
But a U.S. car, now that would be tragic to see suffer the same fate, as everything we make is priceless, right? And that is possible – it’s not just the British who can’t seem to get high-tech right every time, we Yanks have seen recent instances where our rockets have gotten bored with their duties and tried to take a dip in the Pacific instead of the cold, unforgiving expanses of space.
So, considering that something is going to have to take the place of America’s shuttle fleet, what do you think would be the best car to do so? Can you hear me? Ground control to Major Tom?
Image source: [ TopGear.uk]

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  1. Patrick Avatar

    Pacer for aerodynamic reasons, though something might have to be done with all those windows. I suppose an aerostar cargo van might be a better choice if you have a limitless power supply in your rocket.

    1. smokyburnout Avatar

      [youtube MHPD2WWqIS0 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHPD2WWqIS0 youtube]
      Turns out YouTube embedding here does work on mobile, I'm just slow…

      1. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar

        Was traveling for work, so late to the party here, but that is exactly what I was going to post!

      1. OA5599 Avatar

        That's only I Saturn. You need V of them.

  2. P161911 Avatar

    An Imperial Star Destroyer of course.
    <img src="http://www.imperialclub.com/Yr/1967/RonaldLaCurran/1967Imperial13.jpg&quot; width="500/">
    We still have the plans for the Saturn V, that should be able to at least get it to a low orbit.

    1. tiberiusẅisë Avatar

      With lens flare no less.

  3. OA5599 Avatar

    Are we trying to get to the moon
    <img src="http://webspace.webring.com/people/sn/novaessess/buick/sb74_apollo350x461.jpg&quot; width=500>
    Or just into orbit?
    <img src="http://www.neway-moving.com/AtlasTruck.jpg&quot; width=500>

    1. tonyola Avatar

      How about this Apollo instead?
      <img src="http://www.cartype.com/pics/219/small/apollo_3500_gt_63.jpg&quot; width=400>

      1. OA5599 Avatar

        This one was a prototype, and not engineered for orbital flight.
        <img src="http://www.nmmi.edu/images/enterprisecar.jpg&quot; width=500>

        1. Alff Avatar

          The heat shielding looks suspect.

        2. joshuman Avatar

          A good mystery car candidate?

          1. Alff Avatar

            Don't all rental cars look like that?

  4. tiberiusẅisë Avatar

    Yo dog. I hear you like you some Satellite so I got you a Satellite to use as a Satellite.
    <img src="http://www.buzziq.com/pictures/Cars/Muscle/plymouth%20satellite%201971.jpg&quot; width="400">

    1. Black Steelies Avatar

      Hah! I saw a Charger of the same vintage wearing nealy the same exact graphics over an orange basecoat at the mall last time I was, well, at a mall. It had some thick rear tires and probably the same wheels if I remember right. Also sported fuzzy dice, shag carpeting and a hurst. If it weren't somwhat performance oriented I would say it needed a chain steering wheel just to complete the sleazy vibe it gave me.

  5. LTDScott Avatar

    As I was reading this post, a Garth Brooks song was the hold music for one of my work suppliers and it mentioned a Comet burning bright. So….
    <img src="http://static.cargurus.com/images/site/2009/08/20/22/53/1964_mercury_comet-pic-17547.jpeg&quot; width=500">

    1. ptschett Avatar

      Doubly appropriate, since it's a Mercury.

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      That's the stupidest OCC creation I've yet seen. And that's saying something.

      1. BЯдΖǐL-ЯЄРΘЯΤЄЯ Avatar

        Well must be rivaling with the electric one from Siemens
        <img src="http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/autopia/2009/08/smartchopper12.jpg"&gt;

    2. Alff Avatar

      I think this violates the prime directive.

  6. engineerd Avatar

    Although, all the astronauts drive Corvettes, so maybe we should send them up in something they are used to.
    <img width=500 src="http://www.2011corvettez06.com/Corvette1.jpg"&gt;

  7. SSurfer321 Avatar

    <img src="http://freewayfotos.com/cruisers/1965_mustang_fastback/1965_mustang_fastback23.jpg&quot;, width=500">
    With an apple pie strapped on the passenger seat.

  8. Maymar Avatar

    The car going too slow in front of me. I'm aware my left-lane bandit space program would be prohibitively expensive, and that our orbit is already cluttered enough as it is. I'm not about to let that stop me.

  9. dwegmull Avatar

    There are no light weight cars sold today. Case closed.

    1. chrystlubitshi Avatar

      Made me think of this (the song, this just happens to be a video someone made to go along with it)
      [youtube 9Bum69mmW6w http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Bum69mmW6w youtube]

      1. $kaycog Avatar

        Nice! I don't think I've ever heard that song on "Golden Oldies". 😉

    2. tonyola Avatar

      [youtube Gbfnh1oVTk0 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gbfnh1oVTk0 youtube]

      1. $kaycog Avatar

        Holy cow! Wasn't showing a woman getting dressed pretty risque for back then? I enjoyed the cars, but I've still never heard that song before. Thanks.

      2. chrystlubitshi Avatar

        ahh yes… hadn't heard that for a long time!

  10. tiberiusẅisë Avatar

    For a short trip you'd want a shuttle.
    <img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2670/3742029360_bdf7f4b27c_o.jpg&quot; width="400">

  11. Black Steelies Avatar

    This- <img src="http://www.autointheknow.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/honda-cr-v-front-view.jpg&quot; width="600">
    I don't care where they send it, just get it out of my way. They're always moving too slow and I gotta get to work!

    1. Black Steelies Avatar

      I have to add that I have been spited by karma once again. On the drive home I had to follow yet another one.

  12. chrystlubitshi Avatar

    I think we know where this one is going to….
    <img src="http://johngcomedy.com/images/600_Van.jpg&quot; width="500">

    1. Smells_Homeless Avatar

      HA! Did you see that he's recently added "$10 a feel" to the hood? Eastside classy, yo.

      1. chrystlubitshi Avatar

        i don't the pic i posted is of the one in Indy… pretty sure that one is a chevy or GMC– and the graphic is different/this one is not done with 2" shag fur…… but, no.. i haven't seen the(/"our") van for a couple of years… glad to know it's still rollin' around!!
        *edit* upon further searching… it appears that this one is an indiana van too….. how creepy/cool is it that there's more than one DSotM vans running around our "fair" city??

        1. Smells_Homeless Avatar

          Oh, it's definitely the same one, I drive by it just about every day over on New York. He replaced the original with this Dodge a couple of years ago. He also has an 80-or-so Diplomat done in blue turf. The man knows what he likes, I'll give him that.

          1. chrystlubitshi Avatar

            ahhh… okay.. i see the blue turf diplomat on occasion but haven't seen the van for a while… i'll have to see if i can dig out my pics (4"x6" prints from a 35mm disposable) of his shag GM van… (i remember it having fewer colours in the spectrum) but looked awesome "flapping" down the road….
            (nothing wrong with an outdoor shag or two, eh?)

  13. chrystlubitshi Avatar

    yeah, that one. on the otherside of that place, not too far away

  14. OA5599 Avatar

    I do like the spectrum of the paint job, which includes Any Colour You Like, but I don't think the space agency has enough Time or Money to get the project going. They are already On The Run to keep current projects from being Eclipsed, so there's hardly any room to Breathe–it's an Us and Them battle.
    If you feel differently, please Speak To Me about your Brain Damage.

  15. PowerTryp Avatar

    The Galpin Auto Sport Scythe. Don't worry, I'm not stopping at orbit. This things going straight to the sun.
    <img src="http://tuningpal.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/1229939930_2.jpg"&gt;

    1. Alff Avatar

      Good. Saw this in person at the WORLD OF WHEELS … WHEELS … WHEELS. Hideous.

  16. ptschett Avatar

    Let's just keep it to 5 or less missions with this car, since we all know what happens to #6.
    <img src="http://vlane.com/img/chrome/7407.jpg"&gt;

    1. chrystlubitshi Avatar

      took me a second… but not too soon for me*… hehehehe
      *i am a sick bastard.

  17. BЯдΖǐL-ЯЄРΘЯΤЄЯ Avatar

    A lot of tax payers have paid to get this into orbit
    <img src="http://i.i.com.com/cnwk.1d/i/bto/20081029/nasarover3_610x432.jpg"&gt;

    1. smokyburnout Avatar

      In the bed of one of these.
      <img src="http://www.autoincar.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/12/nissan-titan.jpg"/&gt;

    1. mdharrell Avatar

      Thanks to ptschett, above, OV-098 Pathfinder is also covered, though personally I wouldn't have chosen a Nissan….
      <img src="http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5132/5517957523_f201817120.jpg"&gt;

      1. jjd241 Avatar

        There is the Nissan Serenity for any Browncoats out there…
        <img src="http://www.conceptnissan.com/2000/2003_serenity-01.jpg&quot; width="400"> http://top-luxurycars.blogspot.com/2009/02/nissan… <a href="http://www.browncoats.com/” target=”_blank”>http://www.browncoats.com/

  18. OA5599 Avatar

    Use a Delorean to get to the MIRror space station.
    <img src="http://www.clevelandleader.com/files/BlowEnergy.jpg&quot; width="500/">

  19. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar

    Since Aerostar was already mentioned (and it made me soooo happy), I'll have to say Oldsmoblie Silhouette:
    [youtube 0DADhMEH6Ns http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DADhMEH6Ns youtube]

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