Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster just floated past Mars

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

On Saturday, SpaceX shared the Roadster’s current location in a tweet, showing it had moved beyond the red planet and is on course to loop around back toward earth. It’s expected to cross our planet’s orbit in August 2019.

“Next stop, the restaurant at the end of the universe," wrote SpaceX, another reference to Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy novels/TV show/movie. A “Don’t Panic” sticker, a famous phrase from Adams’ masterpiece, sits on the car’s dashboard.

According to the website whereisroadster.com, which tracks the location of the Tesla, Starman is currently over 180 million miles from earth and 133 million miles from Mars, moving away from the planet at 21,050 miles per hour. The vehicle has traveled far enough to drive all of the world’s roads 16.5 times, and is set to orbit the sun once every 557 days.

While most rocket test flights use steel or concrete as cargo, Musk said: "That seemed extremely boring."

“Of course, anything boring is terrible, especially companies, so we decided to send something unusual, something that made us feel," he added.

Starman is kitted out in a working SpaceX spacesuit, which the company says is helping to test it in preparation for flights with human crews.

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senketsu

I hope he left a charge in the battery and the keys in it....
 

psycros

TS Evangelist
I'm amazed that nobody has gotten the real reference Musk is making..or maybe even Elon doesn't realize it?

 
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Reachable

TS Evangelist
Maybe, perhaps one day 103,000 years from now, the vehicle's flight path will bring it back into earth's domain. It will hurtle through the atmosphere and crash on the San Diego Freeway, just beyond the fabulous abandoned city of L.A.
 

andy06shake

TS Evangelist
Considering what it costs to put stuff up there I imagine Elon could have better utilized the cargo space than with sending a Roadster, PR stunt or otherwise.
 

Reachable

TS Evangelist
Considering what it costs to put stuff up there I imagine Elon could have better utilized the cargo space than with sending a Roadster, PR stunt or otherwise.
It was just a test flight. Usually, as the article mentioned, they just send a piece of steel or concrete, a piece of junk, on a test flight. This time they did something much more interesting, with a sense of humor.
 
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Dink Singer

TS Rookie
Some folks need to learn to read a map. The headline "just floated past Mars" does not match the map at all. As the article says Elon's Roadster is "133 million miles from Mars, moving away from the planet at 21,050 miles per hour." Actually it is chasing the planet but Mars is moving faster so the net distance is increasing. The "Recap" says "Now, almost nine months later, the vehicle has made its way past Mars’ orbit." But the map shows the Roadster crossed Mars' orbit quite a ways back. It was reported it happened on July 12th.

So what does the map actually show? The Roadster, orbiting the Sun, is nearing its aphelion, the point at which it is furthest from the Sun, for the first time. It will reach that point and begin it first inbound journey early next week. About 278 days later it will reach perihelion its closest point to the Sun and to Earth's orbit.
 
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captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
I wonder if they made any provision for "Starman" to change his adult diaper? After all, he has to be at least as full of sh!t as the guy who sent him there...:poop:
 

captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
@midian182 (Quoting Musk) Said: "“Of course, anything boring is terrible, especially companies, so we decided to send something unusual, something that made us feel," he added".

The whole ordeal does indeed make me feel something, nauseous.

It also brings to mind an early David Bowie song, (which I'm pretty sure is where the name "Starman" came from).


Bowie himself recounts a story where he asked John Lennon, "how do you like my music:? To which Lennon replied, "well, it's like rock and roll, but with lipstick". :laughing:

Which gives me pause to wonder if the crazies at Tesla paid attention to detail and painted up Starman's lips with the requisite "streetwalker red", for his trip through the courser sections of our solar system