Tesla Inc TSLA CEO Elon Musk decided to send his personal Tesla Roadster into space in 2018. On Monday, Feb. 6, the cherry-colored Roadster marked five years of being in space.
The car was sent as a 'dummy payload' for the first mission of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy. At the launch, Musk said that the mission only had a 50-50 shot at success.
Musk also provided a map of the Roadster's itinerary on Twitter, announcing a new route to the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
According to a tracking website whereisroadster.com and at the time of writing, the vehicle is located 203,141,620 miles from Earth. It is travelling at a speed of 6,897 mi/h.
5 years ago today I made a decision that changed my life. I realized that I had both the ability to make a website and the ability to calculate the trajectory of Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster. I decided to register https://t.co/K9RfNHIhSb at work, got home and started coding!— Ben Pearson- Roadster Tracker (@whereisroadster) February 7, 2023
The roadster is positioned 280,582,996 miles from Mars and 136,953,833 miles from the Sun, reports the website.
In 2020, for the first time, the vehicle made its closest approach to Mars, passing within about 5 million miles of the planet. That's about 20 times the distance between the Earth and the Moon, reports CNN.
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At the launch, Musk had said he hoped humans would one day establish settlements on other planets in the solar system. If and when that happens, Musk said he hopes his "descendants will be able to drag (the Roadster) back to a museum," CNN quoted Musk saying.
Behind the wheel, there was a mannequin in the car named Starman. According to whereisroadster.com, the Starman could have listened to the popular David Bowie classic "Space Oddity" 496,545 times in one ear while listening to "Life On Mars?" 669,074 times in the other ear during the journey, provided the batteries are still working.
According to CNN, the vehicle may have been pulverized by a meteoroid or worn away by radiation. The last time the Roadster was directly observed was in 2018.
In 2018, the car's launch attracted a lot of memes on Twitter.
HI, THIS IS YOUR @Uber DRIVER, I'M OUTSIDE. pic.twitter.com/QoYk9boByX— Néstor Espinoza (@nespinozap) February 6, 2018
This meme is not getting enough attention#FalconHeavy pic.twitter.com/4oWzFR10re— Eric Ernst (human parody account) (@popkiller) February 7, 2018
"Come Over"— Ricky (@rickyftw) February 6, 2018
"I can't, you live on Mars"
"My Parents aren't home" pic.twitter.com/wUYPcvCEBT
You: “It’s 2018 where are our flying cars”@elonmusk: pic.twitter.com/1pUXJyHZtC— Pablo Torre (@PabloTorre) February 6, 2018
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