SpaceX launched a rocket into an orbit around the sun with a Roadster inside and Starman at the wheel of the car.
There’s a midnight cherry red Tesla Roadster cruising in space, 186 million miles from earth, and it just made its first orbit around the sun. It’s the world’s most well-traveled car, making headlines again in what many describe as the most ingenious publicity stunt ever.
Elon Musk’s company SpaceX successfully launched the Falcon Heavy, the world’s most powerful rocket in 45 years, from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on February 6, 2018. It needed ‘cargo’ for this test and so the billionaire ‘donated’ his first-generation cherry red Tesla Roadster for the trip.
Starman Drives Sports Car in Space
Just to spice things up a bit they placed a dummy behind the Roadster’s wheel, dressed it in a prototype spacesuit, and named him Starman. Just in case Starman got bored during his long trip, on the in-car sound system, David Bowie’s Space Oddity is playing on repeat. And for a little added drama, the words “Don’t Panic” taken from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxyaredisplayed on the car’s infotainment screen.
Roadster Speeding at 75,000 mph
According to the tracking site whereisroadster.com, the duo has completed its first orbit around the sun. The site also informs us that Tesla has traveled more than 760 million miles in space, and equivalent to 21,000 times more than the original 36,000-mile warranty.
Data also shows that it’s 68 million miles from Mars and approximately 186,000 away from Earth. The sports car is traveling at speeds of 75,000 mph and is now moving towards Mars. According to scientists, the greatest threat the Roadster faces is the sun’s radiation and without the protection of Earth’s atmosphere and magnetic field, the car’s non-metal components will fall to bits very soon.
The eccentric billionaire even said on Twitter that in a few year’s time SpaceX could launch another spacecraft to catch up with Starman in the Roadster and snap some photos. Maybe (if he’s still in one piece!) we’ll get Starman to take a selfie! Just as a side note -the 2008 model Roadster, with a price tag of $100,000 –was once used by Elon Musk to drive to work!
Is it Just Roadster Space Junk?
Some people have raised concerns that the red sports car will only contribute to space debris, while others are excited about the venture. Elon Musk himself sees it as an inspiration to the public about the “possibility of something new happening in space” and part of his broader vision for spreading humanity to other planets.
Either way, Tesla stays in the news and has made history as the first to launch a standard roadworthy vehicle into space.
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