Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster has just flown by Mars after 37million mile journey – and played Space Oddity 260,000 times
ELON Musk’s Tesla Roadster has just passed Mars after he blasted it into space back in 2018.
The car features a mannequin passenger called Starman who sits behind the steering wheel.
Starman, last seen leaving Earth, made its first close approach with Mars today—within 0.05 astronomical units, or under 5 million miles, of the Red Planet pic.twitter.com/gV8barFTm7
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) October 7, 2020
SpaceX tweeted: “Starman, last seen leaving Earth, made its first close approach with Mars today — within 0.05 astronomical units, or under 5 million miles, of the Red Planet.”
The Tesla Roadster launched onboard the maiden test flight of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket.
Elon Musk wanted to send his own personal car into space.
The cherry red Tesla Roadster has the message “Don’t panic!” emblazoned on the dashboard.
The Where is Roadster? website tracks the car[/caption]
After initially surviving a five hour journey through the Van Allen Belt – an area of high radiation – the car is embarked on a journey through space that could last a billion years and take it as far as 250 million miles from Earth – the same as a trip around the equator 10,000 times.
The cherry red car speeds through the solar system after being blasted into space[/caption]
Musk wanted the stunt to generate interest in SpaceX and said “silly and fun things are important”.
According to the Where is Roadster? website, Starman is around 38 million miles from Earth.
Starman was launched with music playing in each ear.
The Where is Roadster? website revealed: “If the battery was still working, Starman has listened to Space Oddity 264,803 times since he launched in one ear, and to Is there Life On Mars? 356,811 times in his other ear.”
The vehicle orbits the Sun around once every 557 days.
That means another Mars flypast should happen again someday and Where is Roadster? will continue to track the progress.
What is SpaceX?
Here’s what you need to know…
SpaceX was founded by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk who still has part ownership of the company with 54 per cent equity and 78 per cent voting control.
SpaceX is a private American aerospace manufacturer that is based in California.
It was founded in 2002 with the goal to build affordable rockets and enable the colonisation of Mars.
The manufacturer also aimed to reduce space transportation costs.
Since its creation, the firm has gained fame primarily as a pioneering rocket firm.
In 2008 it launched the first privately-funded liquid-propellant rocket to reach orbit and later became the first private company to launch an object into orbit around the sun.
The company has grown dramatically over its lifespan, from 160 employees in November 2005 to around 7,000 as of November 2019.
As of March 2018, SpaceX had over 100 launches on its manifest representing about $12billion (£9.24billion) in contract revenue.
Most read in Science
In other news, four Nasa astronauts will board a Crew Dragon spacecraft on October 31 on a trip to the International Space Station
The US Space Force will one day send humans into space and could set up its own Moon base staffed by robots, a US General has confirmed.
And, Musk wants to send humans to Mars as early as 2024 aboard one of the huge rockets.
Do you track Starman’s movements? Let us know in the comments…
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