There is a car floating in space, remember? It has also been a while since ‘Starman’ started his grand space adventure in his red Tesla Roadster. Where he is now somewhere? Beyond Mars, it turns out.
6 February 2018. Space company SpaceX successfully launches the Falcon Heavy, the most powerful rocket in the world. On board, dummy ‘Starman’ in a red Tesla Roadster, where SpaceX founder Elon Musk previously toured. Witty settings for an unforgettable space journey everywhere: think of a Do not Panic sign on the dashboard and music from David Bowie popping out of the speakers. A stunt of size and according Musk the ultimate launch of ever space tourism to the moon and Mars.
From an update of SpaceX about the location of the most widely discussed missile ballast ever, it appears that Starman has flown past Mars. “Next stop, the restaurant at the end of the universe”, the space company jokes in a tweet. It is no coincidence (in addition to the Do not Panic joke) a new nod to the famous ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ book series by author Douglas Adams, of which Elon Musk is a big fan.
99,000 times ‘(Is There) Life on Mars’
In space, the Tesla Roadster is already the fastest car ever, with a speed of about 42,000 kilometres per hour. For comparison: The Tesla has already travelled far enough to drive all roads on earth 16.4 times, fansite whereisroadster.com writes. If the battery on board is still working, Starman has also heard the song ‘Space Oddity’ almost 74,000 times and more than 99,000 times ‘(Is There) Life on Mars’, although there is not much to hear about in the void of space will be.
On 8 November he will reach his furthest point towards the sun (249 million kilometres) this year, on 21 February 2019 the furthest point opposite the earth (365 million kilometres). Then his job brings him closer to his home planet again. On November 5, 2020, he is approaching ‘close’ to the earth (51 million kilometres). For a real near passage it is probably waiting until 2091. Then the Tesla is probably a few hundred thousand kilometres away from the earth. If it does not come to an accident or if another problem occurs, Starman will continue to lonely around the sun for many thousands of years, possibly millions of years. According to a study, his remains could eventually crash on Venus or on the earth.
Starman’s current location. Next stop, the restaurant at the end of the universe. pic.twitter.com/Ty5m8IjJpE
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) November 3, 2018