The entrepreneur, who nearly deleted his Twitter account and raised eyebrows by temporarily changing his username in the wake of a row with an artist, first promoted his Starship project using markedly high-flown language to celebrate the Mars mission, and then posted a follow-up image of… the moon, albeit a recently witnessed “strawberry” one, hence the confusion.
“Accelerating Starship development to build the Martian Technocracy,” he wrote in a post before sharing the controversial picture with the imperative “Occupy Mars” emblazoned on it.
The confusion naturally couldn’t go unnoticed among the hordes of Elon Musk subscribers, with some attempting to rationalise why the celestial body in the images was actually Earth’s moon. It looks strikingly like Mars, though, doesn’t it?
“Are we occupying Mars during a lunar eclipse or did you not realise that's the moon?” one asked discreetly, while another came up with visual proof attaching an image of a “blood moon” that looks exactly like the object in Musk’s tweet.
“That’s the moon, you goober. And way to be the billionaire who tries to appropriate the ‘Occupy LOCATION’ thing,“ the netizen heckled disapprovingly. Another offered a similar remark:
1. That's the moon— 🌻Elle 🐈Gato🐈 Maruska 🌻(they/them) (@ellle_em) 24 июня 2019 г.
2. If Occupy had gotten it's way, if the spirit of Occupy had succeeded, you'd be first in the Guillotine Line my dude
“First you need to be able to identify a picture of it [Mars vs. the moon] dude,” another quipped.
we should actually start building a moon base, also funny for someone who loves LARPing as a rocket surgeon to not recognize a picture of said literal fucking moon— 🤔𝐿𝑜𝐺𝑖𝐶💪öƀlíẗéṛáẗőr🌹【ᵛᴱʳᴵᶠⁱᵉᴰ】./Леджит~ ⊛ (@hostilemimosas) 24 июня 2019 г.
…while one suggested Musk may be abusing some substance, which would cause “the rocket surgeon” to make such a blunder.
However, many opted for a more light-hearted reaction, joining crowds awaiting the upcoming launch of Falcon Heavy, scheduled to take place at night for the first time, on 24 June.
Please enable me to be a space pirate 🏴☠️— Peter Grey (@PerseverenceGB) 24 июня 2019 г.
“Please get us off this rock,” one user begged, and was quickly followed by another suggesting that we should first save Earth. “We haven’t yet wrecked this rock,” Musk’s other subscriber chuckled in response.
Some fans, or as one responder called them, “Musk cultists”, decided to lighten up the atmosphere a bit, suggesting Elon Musk could be coming for US President Donald Trump:
“Um... are you intentionally making fun of our President? Cuz if you're not, may I? MoonMars!” a commenter wrote, referencing a fact-checking dismay over Trump’s tweet in early June that NASA should explore Mars, “of which the Moon is a part.” Democrats couldn’t help cashing in on Trump’s lack of cohesion at the time, although Trump apparently meant NASA’s agenda at large, and the Moon is indeed a part of it.