"For a man who likes electric cars, he sure burns a lot of fuel," said the ever-so-sassy Lisa on Sunday night's episode of The Simpsons. In "The Musk Who Fell to Earth," Elon Musk, the billionaire inventor of Tesla electric cars and real-life Tony Stark, speeds away in his Dragon spacecraft at the end of the episode. Lisa Simpson's quip did not go unnoticed by Elon Musk IRL, and he responded in kind.
Apparently, an electric rocket is impossible. He further explains, with some physics:
Reason is Newton's Third Law. In vacuum, there is nothing to "push" against. You must react against ejected mass.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 26, 2015
In other words, a chemically created "mass" is necessary to propel a rocket into orbit. But, if you ask us, if there was any man who could make the impossible possible, it'd be Elon Musk. After all, he did create a commercial non-NASA space transportation company against all odds.
In The Simpsons' episode, Elon is charged with revolutionizing the town's nuclear plant, and Mr. Burns is very intrigued by the inventor's plans of a working tube transport system (a lil' nod to Hyperloop), driverless cars, and other ideas. Elon's got some funny tech in his possession, such as quadcopters that can play violin and self-packing luggage. He leaves the episode with this final proclamation: "We sacrifice now to take care of the future in a way totally determined by me." No words have ever rang truer.