The Tesla that Elon Musk launched into space 6 years ago is moving towards Mars

An ironic twist of fate.
  • Elon Musk used his own personal Tesla as payload for SpaceX’s first Falcon Heavy launch
  • The car was launched into space with a dummy named ‘Starman’ at the wheel six years ago
  • The Tesla, according to experts, may crash into Earth, Venus or the Sun several years from now

Published on Feb 27, 2024 at 6:37PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on Feb 27, 2024 at 9:25PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Adam Gray

Elon Musk’s personal Tesla Roadster has been roaming freely in space for about six years now.

And it’s apparently moving towards Mars.

READ MORE: Elon Musk broke the world record for the largest personal fortune loss in history

On February 6, 2018, SpaceX launched the maiden flight of its then-new Falcon Heavy rocket.

In order to mark the occasion, Musk decided to equip the rocket with a rather special payload – his personal Tesla Roadster.

The Roadster was Tesla’s first-ever car, unveiled in 2008 and heavily based on the Lotus Elise, except it was fully electric.

Musk’s own Roadster, a 2008 model finished in Cherry Red, was permanently mounted on the rocket’s second stage and had a spacesuit-clad dummy in the driver’s seat.

Musk called it the ‘Starman’.

The dummy driver and the car weigh a combine 3,000 pounds, roughly around 1,300 kg, and it was SpaceX’s attempt at showing how Falcon Heavy could easily launch heavy payloads.

And of course it was also a publicity stunt, but that’s a different conversation altogether.

The bottom line is, Musk’s Tesla has been in space for about six years now and it’s constantly moving.

Some people may not know this, but there’s an independent website called WhereIsRoadster.com whose daily objective is to track the car’s progress using NASA data.

According to the website, Musk’s Roadster is traveling at 4,416 mph – or 7,100 km/h – and it is about 5.84 light-minutes away from Earth.

In space speak, 5.84 light-minutes is around 65.27 million miles.

More to the point, it is currently heading towards Mars.

Pictured below – Musk’s Roadster in November 2023 (left) vs in February 2024 (right)

It’s like a poetic coincidence.

There’s probably nobody else on the planet that wants humanity to get to Mars with the same conviction and passion as Elon Musk.

As NASA develops new rocket engines to travel to Mars, Musk is working on a ‘master game plan‘ to take up to one million people to the Red Planet.

Cosmic irony aside, there are a couple of interesting facts about Musk’s Tesla.

Firstly, it’s expected to approach Earth again in about 20 years.

More importantly, according to Toronto University astrophysicist Hanno Rein, Tesla and Starman will likely crash on Earth, Venus or the Sun in the next 15 million years.

Mind you, this is probably a moot point, as space debris and gases will probably destroy the car way before that date.

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